Thai PM says he will find political solution to Red Shirt problem
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said today he is preparing a 'roadmap' to resolving the two-month standoff between his government and Red Shirt protesters that has claimed 27 lives.
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Abhisit said Sunday the government is preparing to try again, reports the BBC. The government is “sealing off and cutting off support” to the protesters’ encampment before moving against it, and he did not say when that will happen. The Bangkok Post reports that the government is bringing armored vehicles to Bangkok to help clear the protesters from their barricaded encampment.Skip to next paragraph
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Meanwhile, the global think tank the International Crisis Group released a report that says the crisis cannot be ended through the Thai political system, and warns that “violence in Bangkok could spread if there is a crackdown.” The group calls for Thailand to accept international mediation to end the crisis:
"The Thai political system has broken down and seems incapable of pulling the country back from the brink of widespread conflict. The stand-off in the streets of Bangkok between the government and Red Shirt protesters is worsening and could deteriorate into an undeclared civil war. The country’s polarization demands immediate action in the form of assistance from neutral figures from outside."
The Christian Science Monitor reported last week that some Western diplomats are “quietly discussing” bringing international mediators in to help resolve the situation, though the Thai government has rejected the idea. The International Crisis Group suggested that East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, who has already traveled to Bangkok and met with Abhisit, could be joined by other high-level international figures to help mediate the crisis.
President Ramos-Horta said it would be difficult to find figures qualified to become involved in Thailand:
In an interview, East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, whose young democracy has relied heavily on international support to tackle political violence, gave his support to foreign mediation. But he warned that it would be hard to find someone who can step into the complex situation.
“I don’t think any international mediator is knowledgeable enough about Thailand to be able to play a critical role,” he says.
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