Reuters: “Thai govt seeks talks with Thaksin to end protest”
BANGKOK, April 1 (Reuters) – Thailand’s government offered on Wednesday to negotiate with exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to end a week-long street campaign threatening its efforts to stave off an economic recession.
The offer was swiftly rejected by a leader of the pro-Thaksin group that has surrounded Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s offices in Bangkok to force him out, the latest escalation in Thailand’s three-year-old political crisis.
“Our objective is to remove them. Why would we talk to them?” said Jatuporn Prompan, a leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), an extra-parliamentary group that accuses Abhisit of being a pawn of the military.
Police have taken no action against the thousands of red-shirted protesters despite a court order on Tuesday that they allow ministers to enter Government House.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the government wanted to avoid violence and he offered talks with Thaksin, who has exhorted his supporters to “bring back democracy” in nightly video speeches from an undisclosed location.
“If talks can bring peace to the country, I am ready to meet him anywhere, because Thaksin is the only person that can end the siege,” said Suthep, who is in charge while Abhisit attends the G20 Summit in London.
There’s also a story from the BBC and one from the FT. And here’s one from VOA about politics and the Thai economy.