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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   26 November 2013  

Thai PM extends olive branch to anti-govt protesters

BANGKOK, Nov 25 – Embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today called on protesters to jointly find a resolution for Thailand but insisted she will neither resign nor dissolve Parliament.

She ordered a special Cabinet meeting to assess the political situation after Sunday’s mass rally which spilled out of Ratchdamnoen Avenue, the major protesting stronghold, to  several adjacent roads, and today’s widespread demonstrations at more than 10 government buildings and state-run television stations.
The prime minister said, “Now that all factions have displayed their political positions, it’s time they meet and talk to find a resolution for the country. The National Reform forum is ready to listen. We should use it to find a concrete solution.”

Regarding an increasing call for civil servants to join the ongoing protest, Ms Yingluck said civil servants are obliged to serve the people and they should be politically neutral while the media has reported without bias under the journalism code of conduct.

She said the situation does not require the government to extend enforcement of the Internal Security Act while security agencies have regularly monitored the situation and provide protection to the people.

“We’d rather avoid violence. We don’t want people to feel inconveniences from roads closure. The international community is concerned that the political situation will affect the country’s economy and the businesses of small and big entrepreneurs. We should accelerate the economy during year-end,” she said.

Ms Yingluck said the government is ready for the no-confidence debate on November 26-28 and hoped that the opposition will debate constructively.

Teerat Rattanasevi, spokesman of the PM’s Office, said the mobile Cabinet, scheduled to be held in the southern province of Songkhla on November 28-29, will be postponed indefinitely to allow provincial officials to concentrate on major floodings and heavy rainfall in the South.
He said the prime minister instructed all Cabinet members to be prepared for the no-confidence debate while she herself will reply and clarify every single issue raised by the opposition. (MCOT online news)

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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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