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Organiser of Veera event to be summoned: NCPO

THE NATIONAL Council for Peace and Order will summon the organiser of "Veera, A Free Spirit,'' for questioning on suspicion that the event was a political gathering, as these are banned at this time, NCPO spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said yesterday.

Winthai said the organiser of the event, held yesterday, had not asked the NCPO for permission and the person would be summoned to explain the nature of the function.

General Boonlert Kaewprasit, chaired the event yesterday at the Nang Lerng Horse Stable, to welcome home activist Veera Somkwamkid, who was released from a Cambodian prison after serving a three-and-a-half year term on a charge of espionage.

Boonlert, leader of the Pitak Siam (Protect Thailand) group, led a rally to oust the Yingluck government in 2012. The rally ended shortly after a violent crackdown by security officials.

Veera thanked NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha for helping to free him, saying he would approach the Army chief to thank him in person.

Veera said he would reveal all that happened to him when the time was right. He had been asked not to make any political comment about his release at this stage for fear it might adversely affect bilateral relations and national reform and reconciliation moves initiated by the NCPO.

But he said he felt both the Abhisit and Yingluck governments were not sincere in helping to get him released.

He said he only got to meet a Cambodian official once - when Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith accompanied former Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to visit him at Prey Sar prison on February 4, 2011. But Khieu didn't say anything and just listened to what Kasit said. "I would say I was not given much convenience while in prison,'' he said.

About 100 people joined the event to praise Veera's "heroic act" and boost his morale. Guests were entertained with a musical show and food. People who attended included General Preecha Iam-suwan, leader of the People's Army against the Thaksin Regime and, former appointed Senator Prasarn Marukpitak.


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