Thailand: Negotiations to End Standoff?

Updated On: Oct 29, 2008

Efforts may be increasing to find a resolution to the impasse between the PPP government, seen as a proxy for ex premier Thaksin, and the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), that has occupied Government House since August .

On 26 Oct, Sumet Tantivejkul, secretary-general of the Chaipattana Foundation, which is close to the Palace, called for national unity to avoid a repeat of bloody events in the Thai political history.  Privy Council president Gen Prem Tinsulanonda also urged those involved in the conflict to end their disputes through dialogue. He said it was important to make sacrifices and everyone must accept less than what they had demanded for the good of the country.

Worried about future conflicts between pro- and anti-government camps, attempts to get the the opposing sides to the negotiating table to resolve their differences peacefully have been engineered by the King Prajadhipok's Institute and peace advocates.

Response from the PAD has been mixed. On 27 October, Sondhi Limthongkul, a core leader of the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy. criticised Sumet. "Instead of siding with the righteous, he preached unity," Sondhi said.

In contrast, another key PAD leader, Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang expressed readiness to attend peace talks and said the alliance's demonstrations had complied with the constitution and never resorted to violence.

Source: Bangkok Post, 29 Oct, “Split Over Violence”, http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=131672.

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