Sunday, April 25, 2010
Glimmer of hope of settlement dashed
That little glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel was snuffed out almost as it emerged. After three rounds of unofficial talks between Veera Muksikapong of the red shirts and M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party (Bangkok's governor), PM Abhisit Vejjajiva called off the negotiations.
Why? The PM said on TV this morning that the red shirts' new demand for him to dissolve the House in 30 days "simply doesn't make sense." He said there is no guarantee that a new election would resolve the ongoing crisis. The PM claims that some of the red shirted leaders harbour objectives much beyond just a new election.
"They were talking about a new state and changing to the highest institution of the country," Abhisit said.
It is now likely that any future talks will have to be more than just bilateral negotiations between the government and the red shirts. The yellow and the pink shirts as well as other civil society groups have also demanded a say in how the "road map" should be drawn up.
He didn't mention Thaksin Shinawatra, but it was obvious that Abhisit had Thaksin in mind when he said he wasn't sure who was making decisions for the red shirt movement.
"Some of them say they want 30 days, others say 3 months and still other want six months..." he said.
Abhisit, accompanied by Army Chief Anupong Paochinda in the television show, appeared to have bounced back from his week-long "disappearance" from public. Today, he appeared more determined to "overcome the challenge."
How he will achieve that remains unclear and uncertain at best.