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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 November 2013  

PM Yingluck asks protesters to leave state property

BANGKOK, Nov 28 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today repeated her call to anti-government protesters for dialogue to return peace and public order to Thailand.
She ruled out the protesters’ proposal for a people’s assembly as the final resolution to the long-standing political uncertainty, explaining that the principle was not permissible by the Constitution.
In a nationally telecast speech a few hours after surviving the no-confidence debate, the grim-faced prime minister gave assurances to the Thai people and the international community about her government’s lenient treatment of protesters so as to avoid violence, deaths or other casualties.
She said the government’s peaceful principle in dealing with protesters was not tantamount to an inefficient administration, nor failure to enforce the law for public order.
Public services at some government agencies may be disrupted or become inconvenient but the government has mapped out contingency plans to ensure adequate services, she said.
Ms Yingluck said she was optimistic that high-ranking state officials, despite different political opinions, are aware of their obligations and responsibilities for the nation, religion and monarchy, and will continue to work efficiently for the interest of people and the country.
The prime minister said the government would refrain from playing political games in the belief that such actions would turn the country backward economically and socially and affect Thailand’s confidence among the international community.
She said the government would be willing to listen to demands from all groups which have seized state property but their demand for a people’s assembly is constitutionally impossible.
“I assure you that I’m determined to talk and find resolutions for the country and to eliminate chronic political conflicts which have damaged the nation. I beg protesters to end their protests and return the occupied government property,” she said.
She promised to open a forum to parley and avoid confrontation and said the government would be willing to cooperate with all stakeholders in working out processes, acceptable to all factions, to solve the problems.
Ms Yingluck said it’s time Thai people to pay tribute together to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his birthday and follow His Majesty’s instruction on “love and unity” in his honour. HM the King’s 86th birthday is December 5.
Meanwhile, Red Shirt leader Thida Thavornset accused anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban of having a strong desire to abolish the democratic system and establish a new administrative system – a move she described as the opposition Democrat Party’s total failure.
Mr Suthep is former Democrat deputy leader and MP while Mrs Thida is leader of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
She said Mr Suthep’s six-point resolutions for the country were vague and impractical, and could plunge Thailand to disaster.
The prime minister called on the public not to join the anti-government protests which have damaged the country’s economy and tourism.    
UDD core leader Jatuporn Prompan said Mr Suthep was opening the door to a coup d'tat – the way the People’s Alliance for Democracy did in the past. He did not elaborate.
He urged UDD followers to be patient and said they would continue the demonstration at Rajamangala Stadium until Mr Suthep is arrested or the anti-government demonstrators totally disperse.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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