Anti-govt group rejects proposed peace dialogue

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BANGKOK, Mar 18 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has ruled out the independent agencies’ move to mediate the political conflicts between the caretaker government and anti-government movement.

Mr Suthep, secretary general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), said he would not submit the names of 10 candidates for the mediation committee as proposed by the forum of six independent agencies.

The six constitutional organisations yesterday agreed to encourage dialogue between the government and the PDRC to resolve the months-long political unrest.

The agencies are the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, the Election Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Auditor General.

The Office of the Attorney General withdrew from the forum.

According to the six agency forum plan, a non-partisan committee would be set up to collect proposals from both sides and adjust them until a conclusion is bilaterally reached.

The committee will consist of five members.

Mr Suthep said the PDRC will not propose any names as it would be impossible to find neutral persons to mediate the political conflicts.

He said caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her self-exiled brother Thaksin Shinawatra wanted to hold on to power, and it would be useless to contemplate any dialogue with them.

Abihsit Vejjajiva, Democrat leader and former prime minister, said the proposed negotiation would never be possible if the government refuses to step back and prefers confrontation.