BANGKOK, March 25 -- The anti-government 'Yellow Shirt' People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Friday said it would not rally at Parliament to pressure the joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate to consider approving the minutes of three Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) meetings, claiming that their campaign has yielded fruitful results.
PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongphan said the movement would hold fast at its rally site at Makkhawan Bridge on Rajdamnoen Avenue, but have no plan to move to step up pressure on parliamentarians to reject the documents.
He said the joint sitting had been scheduled to convene at 9m today but their lack of a quorum forced the session to adjourn until afternoon.
Mr Panthep said the PAD had earlier submitted a letter to parliamentarians to express their opposition to the approval of the JBC documents and some MPs who disagreed with the documents opted not to attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, he said, the MPs from opposition parties affirmed that even though they attend the meeting but they would not vote to approve the minutes.
Mr Panthep said this showed that the attempt of PAD to oppose the JBC documents was relatively successful so that no need for the movement to stage rally at Parliament.
He said the PAD would closely monitor the joint sitting whether the three documents could be approved at the meeting and if the minutes have passed, further action would be taken against the border agency documents.
Meanwhile, Thai Patriots Network activist Chaiwat Sinsuwong who led protest not far from PAD demonstrators said the network would not also stage rally at parliament but would wait for the result of the session.
If the JBC documents were approved, he said, the network would petition the Supreme Court, accusing the lawmakers of breaching the Constitution to cause the loss of Thai territory.
In a related development, the families of Veera Somkwamkid, coordinator of the Thai Patriots Network, and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, his personal secretary--both jailed in Cambodia for spying--submitted a letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to secure the release of the pair within seven days.
Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth on Friday led Mr Somkid’s brother and Ms Ratree’s niece to brief the press at Parliament, saying that relatives of the two Thai detainees handed the letter to the prime minister through him to urge the Thai government to help them within seven days.
However, Mr Panich said the prime minister did not ignore them and he himself also worked with Thai embassy in Phnom Penh to seek permission for their families to visit the detainees.
Preecha Somkwamkid, Mr Veera’s younger brother, said his brother’s health has gradually improved after being treated in prison by a doctor. He confirmed that he did not want the issue of Mr Veera to have any impact on the relations of the two neighbouring countries or to be linked to a political conflict.
Mr Chaiwat said the network legal team was contacted by Thai embassy in Phnom Penh to be allowed to meet Mr Veera and Ms Ratree. The legal team will obtain more information on Mr Veera’s illness and seeking an appeal or a royal pardon after visiting the two detainees in Phnom Penh, he said. (MCOT online news)