Thai gov't ready to talk with red-shirts' leaders: Deputy PM

17:57, March 17, 2010      

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Thailand's Deputy Prime Ministeter Suthep Thaugsubansaid Wednesday that the government is ready for talks with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, which is leading the ongoing anti-government rally in Bangkok, Thai media reported.

According to Bangkok Post online, Suthep Thaugsuban said that the government is ready to hold talks with UDD, particularly with its core leader Veera Musikhapong, on the condition that he must first get the green light from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is seen as the de facto leader of the red-shirts movement.

Suthep made the remarks while the red-shirts' rally, led by UDD, continued to mount pressure on the government for an early House dissolution.

Their latest actions included pouring more than 300 litres of blood at the Government House, the headquarters of the ruling Democrat Party and the house of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The blood was donated by the red-shirted people Tuesday.

Suthep said that while the government is ready for talks, most important of all, Thaksin must first show a clear stance.

Suthep said, however, it will not be possible for a national government to be set up with UDD core leaders being included in it.

The deputy prime minister said one possible way of resolving the ongoing political conflict is for all parties concerned to come to see one another and make a joint agreement on how to amend the constitution.

Suthep, who is in charge of security affairs, also said the government is concerned over reports of possible sabotage.

He said he can not tell whether the saboteurs will take orders from Thaksin, and that the only thing he can tell is that there were still some people who wanted to stir unrest and hurt the country.

Suthep said the government will continue to take stringent measures until it can be sure that there will not be any violence. The government will definitely not allow seizure of important installations including Suvarnabhumi airport, he added.

The red-shirts movement has staged the rally to topple the Abhisit administration since March 12, urging the the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and to call a fresh election.

Source: Xinhua
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