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Pattaya Daily News

22 April 2009 :: 21:04:55 pm 38144

Pm Urges Parliament to Help Resolve Political Conflict

BANGKOK, April 22 (TNA) Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday called on Thailand's lawmakers to help resolve the nation's deep-rooted political conflict through parliamentary system. In return, the Opposition camp heavily criticised the government for its handling of anti-government protests.
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During the first day of two-day special joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the premier defended his government’s approach in handling anti-government demonstrators of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) which stormed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit venue at Pattaya, and Bangkok street clashes between government forces and protesters in rioting which saw two civilians dead and more than 130 others injured.

The incidents forced the prime minister to declare a state of emergency decree at Pattaya, followed by the announcement of an emergency decree for Bangkok and five surrounding provinces.

Mr. Abhisit insisted that it was necessary to extend the emergency decree for the time being as there are movements by some groups of people who want to prolong the conflict and attempt to provoke further anti-government protests.

I will lift the Emergency Decree once the situation returns to normalcy, said Mr. Abhisit.

As the government want to restore peace to Thai society, the premier said the government has opened this special session of parliament to allow lawmakers to help find a way out of the crisis.

Today, we must decide whether to use parliament to heal the wounds of society or be a part of the social conflict. I’m ready to listen and go ahead with the political reform by looking for a clear cut process and I have already asked all political parties to find and propose their ideas, according to the prime minister.

Meanwhile, opposition Puea Thai Party MP for Chiang Mai Surapong Tovichakchaikul denied government and security forces accusations that the recent political turmoil was sparked by UDD red-shirt protesters.

Mr. Surapong claimed that the United Front committed no violent crimes, but fake red shirts drove the LPG tank trucks to park in the middle of Bangkok’s Din Daeng intersection, as well as burning public buses to worsen the situation.

The Puea Thai MP also showed at the joint meeting photos of security personnel firing real bullets at the crowd, not blanks as claimed by Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Regarding the government plan to distribute one million CD detailing information about violent clashes between red shirt protesters and soldiers on Sunday and Monday (April 12 and 13) following the aborted ASEAN summit, Mr. Surapong said the authorities may have distorted information. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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