PM: Red Shirt demand won’t cause conflict with government


BANGKOK, Jan 29 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said today she could not appease the demand of the Red Shirt group seeking the release of political prisoners, but said she had assigned her deputy to seek help from the Council of State on the matter.

The premier made her remark as a group of Red Shirt activists led by Chulalongkorn University lecturer Suda Rangkupan rallied at Government House demanding the promulgation of a law to grant amnesty to political prisoners held since the 2006 coup.

Ms Yingluck said she assigned Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung to bring the protesters’ demand to consult with the Council of State and concerned agencies to find a conclusion.

She said however that she had not set a timeframe for the process as she wanted the issue to be carefully considered.

As the protesters demanded the release of political prisoners on Tuesday by 6pm, Ms Yingluck said time should be given to related agencies to work on it and she could not give any answer at the moment.

The premier said she believed the Red Shirt’s latest move will neither pressure her government nor lead the country to a new round of conflict. Her decision, she said, would not pit the Red Shirts against her government.

“This issue should not lead to violence or conflict in society,” she said. “I want all parties to allow the Council of State and concerned agencies to work on it first.”