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Pattaya Daily News

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18 May 2010 :: 13:05:47 pm 20748

Violence Spreads in Bangkok as Gov’t Unwilling to Negotiate

Following renewed calls by anti-government Red Shirt leaders for a return to negotiations, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has branded the plea as “nonsense.” The Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) explained that there would be no resumption in negotiations until the Red Shirts disband from their rallies in the heart of the Thai capitals Central Business District (CBD).
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Bangkok, the 18th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: After key leaders from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) pleaded for a return to the negotiating table and a ceasefire, the CRES announced in a public address that no return to peace talks will be instigated whilst the Red Shirts continue to attack military personnel and remain encamped in the heart of Bangkok’s primary financial district.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Satit Wonghnongtaey also controversially stated that the CRES had significant evidence to suggest that the current violence was being incited by an outside influence, living abroad. Purporting that this ‘person’ was attempting to destabilise and tarnish the image of the Thai government and military by paying foreign lawyers to bring international laws on peace keeping to the attention of the Thai public and world media.

In response to the alleged evidence the CRES have now suspended approximately 106 individual and company accounts suspected to be involved in funding, what they are now officially branding, acts of ‘terrorism.’ The CRES have also order the account holders to present themselves to the DSI for further investigation and to submit their financial records for examination.

Suspects include exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s family members and ex-wife Khunying Pojaman-na Pombejra along with former military leaders, police officers and banned executives involved with the now defunct Thai Rak Thai Party. Former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has also allegedly been blacklisted as a result of his public support for the Red Shirt movement.

Despite the governments refusal to accept renewed negotiations with the Red Shirts, key UDD leaders have continued in the protests for a return to peace talks with representatives from the United Nations asked to mediate in the affair in an attempt to find a fair and acceptable solution for both sides. The Thai government announced on Monday that it would not be willing to accept UN intervention, stating that the current situation was an internal Thai affair and as such would be dealt with by the Thai government.

The Thai government and army have been heavily criticised by the international press and indeed their own media for what appears to be an excessive use of force against largely unarmed protesters. Most believe that the use of live rounds in a situation such as that affecting Bangkok will just incite the already disgruntled protesters further, along with inflicting further needless casualties. At present several innocent citizens and indeed foreigners,, who had largely no part in the ongoing chaos, have been severely injured of killed as a result of the current crackdown instigated by the government. As of 9:00am on Tuesday the death toll resultant from the previous 4-days of violent conflicts has reach 37, whilst over 280 people have been reported as severely injured.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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