Abhisit ready to talk

28 03 2010

Stepping back from the stronger comments of the early morning,  saying “he would not engage in talks [with red shirts] under an intimidating climate,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has now said he will talk with the red shirt leadership. Earlier, Abhisit is quoted as saying: “If the protesters come to the 11th Infantry Regiment camp, I will not be there to talk…. This is not to deny efforts to find a solution, but the talks should be held in a good climate.” It seems the weather changed.

Abhisit announced that he was ready to hold negotiations with representatives of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and, as he had done previously, assigned his secretary-general Korbsak Sabhavasu to co-ordinate with the UDD to make the necessary arrangements. The last time he did this there was little movement from either side.

As the Bangkok Post reports, the “decision came as a large number of red-shirt protesters were massing outside the 11th Infantry Regiment camp where Mr Abhisit has been staying for the past two weeks since the rally began.” It has been an odd television morning with only the government broadcaster showing anything of the rally and with a long, long “discussion” of the political situation that began aggressively but moderated as the possibility of talks was announced.

Unlike the first caravan to the 11th Infantry headquarters, which was televised by one channel and which had lots of live reporting, there was almost nothing shown until noon. Even then, there seems a reluctance to show crowd scenes. When the crowd and convoy were shown, it appeared very large indeed.

The Post described the prime minister’s agreement to hold talks as “an abrupt about-face from his position two hours earlier, when he went on television to say he would not bow to ultimatums from the red-shirts.” He may have been helped just a little by Thaksin Shinawatra’s earlier statement that he wasn’t a stumbling block to negotiations: “Let the negotiations purely be about true democracy and justice. Don’t negotiate for me. Don’t get me involved and don’t implicate me in any conditions put on the table…”.

In announcing that the government would talk, Democrat Party Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said the government “wants the situation in the country to return to normal as soon as possible.” He said that this meant that the premier was now willing to negotiate. Abhisit continued to call for talks in “a friendly climate without any threats being made.”

Earlier, Korbsak said that the “mass gathering of red shirts in front of the 11th Infantry Division camp was considered by the prime minister as a threat and intimidation. He said the withdrawal of the red shirts would improve the climate.” In response, the UDD gave the prime minister until 10.15am to arrange negotiations.  It was soon after this, that Sathit “appeared on television to tell the public of the latest developments.”

Abhisit’s agreement was welcomed by red shirts. The leadership called on supporters to “remain peaceful pending the arrangements for the talks being finalised.” The ball seems back in the government’s court, but the rallying is fast-paced.


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30 10 2012
Kavi on Abhisit by Abhisit « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Abhisit who decided to make the televised meeting with red shirt leaders a stunt. He had repeatedly refused any negotiation and abruptly changed his mind at the last minute. In the talks, he repeatedly denied the red shirt […]

30 10 2012
Kavi on Abhisit by Abhisit « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Abhisit who decided to make the televised meeting with red shirt leaders a stunt. He had repeatedly refused any negotiation and abruptly changed his mind at the last minute. In the talks, he repeatedly denied the red shirt […]




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