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Pattaya Daily News

29 March 2010 :: 12:03:47 pm 16887

Landmark Red-Gov’t Negotiations But Still No Breakthrough

There is still no breakthrough in the ongoing stalemate between the government and the UDD, despite face-to-face talks, described grandiosely by the TNA as ‘landmark negotiations’, between Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the three main Red-Shirt leaders, Veera Musikapong,, Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn Prompan, and Dr Weng Tojirakarn, held at Bangkok's King Prajadhipok's Institute on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Both sides failed to reach a compromise, despite the frustration and growing opposition to the Red disruptions among Bangkok’s business community, with a promise to resume this evening at 6pm.
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March 29, 2010 BANGKOK, (PDN) In a three-hour face-to-face talks, broadcast live on national television, the premier, accompanied by his secretary-general, Korbsak Sabhavasu, and Democrat Party Deputy Secretary-General, Chamni Sakdiseth, confronted the three core red-attired UDD leaders. Whereas the premier maintained his characteristic cool, jai-yen-yen approach, the Reds increasingly displayed mounting frustration.

The TNA reported Veera Musikapong as stating categorically “We have our statement with the simple request that is to dissolve the Parliament and return power for the people to decide,” countered by the premier’s statement that he “did not rule out the house dissolution since the first day that I took office, but we must discuss whether or not dissolving the House will be the answer [to the political crisis].” broadening the rhetoric by involving the populace as a whole – “We must listen to opinions of other people in [our] society so that we can discern the real answer [to the problem.

The premier is due to jet off this morning on a one-day official visit to Brunei to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, both members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). After visiting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the Istana Nurul Iman palace, PM Abhisit will

hold talks with officials on strengthening developmental and economic co-operation between Thailand and Brunei. He will return to Thailand at 4pm to continue negotiations with the Reds.

Despite the continuing impasse, the Red-Shirt must be at least basking in the knowledge that they did manage to persuade most of the military stationed at 8 key points to return to barracks on Saturday, with the exception of those guarding the prime minister’s residence, parliament and the 11th Infantry Regiment base. Meanwhile, anonymous militants are keeping up their bombing campaign with an explosion at 11pm at the Bangkok Bank branch near Soi Borromratchonnanee 24 in Taling and another grenade fired  close to a house of  Banharn Silapa-archa, former prime minister and veteran politician, at around 10.20 pm Sunday night. There was also an attack by a gunman with a pistol on Bangkok Bank Saphan Khao. Of more concern, however, was the direct attack on the 11th Infantry Regiment base, at 4.30am where the peacekeeping operations command is situated, in Bang Khen district, with two M79 grenade explosions injuring four soldiers. Security has been beefed up round the compound off Phaholyothin Road to reinforce the four companies of antiriot personnel already guarding the base.

Meanwhile, swift thinking by Thaksin, accompanied by equally quick action by his family has prevented funds targeted by the taxman to pay Bt12 billion in income tax and fines of Thaksin’s son and eldest daughter from being frozen. Almost Bt1 billion has been withdrawn from several commercial bank accounts held by the Shinawatra family since the Feb 26 Supreme Court ruling on the assets seizure case. Although the banks in question had been told that the Revenue Department intended to freeze this money as part of a retroactive tax levy, they failed to prevent the agents of the wily ex-premier from withdrawing those assets not frozen by the court.  The Finance Ministry had also written to notify Thaksin’s children, Mr Panthongtae and Ms Pinthongta and the concerned banks that withdrawals from those accounts could be considered a criminal offence.

Reporter: Mark Battle (Roving Reporter)
Photographer: Jack Rames & Internet

Category : Politics News

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