By The Nation
Published on February 7, 2011
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has poured cold water on demands for his exit, while the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has upped the ante by threatening to march if he refuses to step down by Friday.
PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang yesterday refused to disclose the destination of the yellow-shirt march, though the date will coincide with the parliamentary vote on charter amendments.
"I am utterly surprised why the PAD wants to oust me when my government has opposed the listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site and refused to accept the 1:200,000 scale map on the Thai-Cambodian boundary," the prime minister said in reference to the PAD's concern that territory is being lost to Cambodia.
Abhisit called on the PAD to talk with him in order to safeguard the country's territory instead of airing one-sided views on the border dispute.
He said government representatives were trying to reason with the PAD leaders but both sides remained too far apart to sit down and negotiate.
He said he could not understand why the PAD leaders refused to talk things out with him or to listen to his side of the story.
"Instead of talks, the PAD leaders are churning out vile attacks, some of which are outright lies," he said.
PAD spokesman Panthep Pourpongpan said rally organisers plan to announce the destination of their march on Friday morning right before starting the procession from their Makawan Bridge rally site.
Democrat Party spokesman Buranat Samudtharak said all sides should rally behind the government in the face of the border dispute.
Buranaj said the PAD made an unreasonable demand by calling for Abhisit's exit without naming his replacement.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said Friday's border skirmish with Cambodia was a regretable incident to both Thailand and Cambodia.
Prompong blamed Abhisit and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya for failing to ensure good neighbourly ties with Cambodia. The two should resign for their lapse of performance; there's a number of coalition politicians who can replace them, he said.