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Pattaya Daily News

11 May 2010 :: 11:05:18 am 20160

Red Shirts Tentatively Agree to End Bangkok Protests

United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders have agreed to the Thai premiers ‘road map’ to recovery although the have subsequently provided several additional proposals that will have to be met by the prime minister and his deputy before that agree to disband from the Ratchaprasong rally site in the nations capital.
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Bangkok, the 11th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Key Red Shirt leaders on Monday night revealed that they have accepted the PM’s ‘road map,’ in part, but have stated that they will only order the disbandment of their rallies in the nation’s capital if Prime Minister Abhisit and his Deputy Suthep Thaugsuban surrender themselves to the Crime Suppression Bureau (CSB). These fresh demands come after the families of the victims from the April 10 clashes in Bangkok voiced there anger at no one being held responsible for the death of 20 civilians in the violent confrontation with security forces and armed personnel blamed for their use of force, ordered by the government.

Following the statements made by Red Shirt leaders the Deputy PM Suthep has announced that he will do as is requested by the UDD, although he will be turning himself in to the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) on Tuesday morning, not the CSB, as they have not been involved with the aforementioned investigations. Red Shirt leader Natthawut Saikua stated that the DSI may suffer a conflict of interest in dealing with Suthep, as the director-general, Tharit Pengdit, is also a member of the government established Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).

Prime Minister Abhisit also announced his willingness to turn himself in to the DSI over the matters, however due to his status as a Member of Parliament he retains immunity until the session is over at the end of the month. Red Leaders have also pledged to follow suit in turning themselves over once Suthep has proceeded to do so. Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan is also an MP and will therefore restrain from turning himself in until his immunity ends later this month.

In another point of conjecture, Red Shirt leaders have also revealed their willingness to accept mass media reform as part of the PM’s ‘road map,’ stating that they will join the scheme provided the government return the Red-aligned People Channel Television (PTV) to air. PTV was disconnected at the beginning of April after the government alleged that the network had been promoting false information that was destabilising the country and presenting a significant safety risk. Reds have announced that they will expect the same treatment as the Yellow Shirt aligned ASTV, which has been freely presenting a biased pro-government agenda throughout the UDD political campaign.

The subsequent acceptance of both the premier and the deputy PM to submit themselves for investigation by the DSI should now spell the end to the nearly 8 week long protests which have been afflicting the capital of Bangkok. With several nations removing travel advisory warnings to the Kingdom it is hoped that the end of the Red Shirt demonstrations will mean other countries will follow-suit. Thailand’s economy relies heavily on the tourism industry, the violent confrontations and bombings that have been ongoing over the past two months have subsequently forced many travellers to avoid or cancel planned trips to nation. Some estimates suggest that the Kingdom has suffered losses reaching into the billions of US dollars as a result of the ongoing political turmoil in the capital.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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