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NCPO denies Prayuth, Suthep had private talks

Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has never held private talks about overthrowing the Thaksin regime with Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), junta deputy spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said yesterday.

A local newspaper ran a front-page story yesterday claiming Suthep had been advising Prayuth on how to unseat the Thaksin regime since 2010.

But Winthai said Suthep and Prayuth had never communicated secretly.

He said before the May 22 power seizure, Prayuth had been assigned by the Yingluck Shinawatra government to inform all groups involved in the conflict to find a way to hold talks.

The previous government also assigned Prayuth, in his capacity as Army chief, to warn all groups to avoid breaking the law. He was also instructed to protect the public.

The spokesman said Prayuth could not hold secret talks with any party as the Army had to uphold the law.

Suthep was not available for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, the PDRC has decided to hold a fund-raising party every Saturday to provide financial support to PDRC protesters injured or killed in protests, a source said.

PDRC core leader Anchalee Paireerak posted pictures and a message on her Facebook page "pong bluesky" about the fund-raising event held on Saturday at the Pacific Club.

The PDRC raised about Bt700,000 from the dinner and established "The Masses and Thailand Reform - 70 Top People" foundation, chaired by Suthep.

Some 70 people attended the event, with each paying Bt10,000 for a ticket. Most were PDRC financiers during its seven month-long protest. One is a high-profile banker.

The PDRC had wanted to hold the event on June 14 but postponed it over fears that may be in breach of the junta's ban against political gathering of more than five people or more.

A source denied that the PDRC had hesitated holding the event over fears its rival, the red shirts, may copy the concept.

The source also quoted PDRC leaders as saying the report was true. Suthep and Prayuth merely talked to each other through social media and on the phone, the source alleged.


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