Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Believe it or not, the negotiations have begun
Not many people might have noticed it but,as far as I am concerned, the "negotiations" between the government and the red shirts have begun -- albeit on television.
Nation Channel invited Charan Dithavihai, one of the core leaders of the protestors, and Education Minister Chinnaworn Bunyakiat to the "Kom Chat Luek" talk programme Monday night. They both maintained their positions but the atmosphere was friendly and the exchange was as fruitful as one could expect under the circumstances.
A well-known polititical scientist,Dr Pichya Pongswasat,and the anchor, Jomquan Laopetch, tried to "mediate" between the two. It was significant that their tones were accommodating rather than hostile.
The Red Shirts had earlier said they would not accept Chinnaworn as PM Abhisit Vejjajiva as a mediator. But the fact that Charan and Chinnaworn did meet and exchanged ideas rather amicably, to me, was a positive signal.
The talks have started. They need to be followed up. Both sides need a ladder to climb down on.