Suthep declares Monday showdown, Yingluck seeks Pheu Thai’s help

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BANGKOK, Nov 8 – Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban last night repeated his ultimatum for the government to destroy the amnesty bill by 6pm on Monday.

He said his proposed alternatives to totally wipe out the controversial bill, currently pending the Senate’s debate, were neither conditions nor negotiations, but possible ways out for the government.

Mr Suthep told protesters at the Democracy Monument rally on Ratchdamnoen Avenue that the government was stubborn in dealing with the amnesty bill.

The government has put up signs across the country complimenting and favouring the amnesty bill, he said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told a gathering of Red Shirt supporters that the people were used as political tools against the government which has no choice but to scrap six amnesty-related bills for the sake of the country, said the Surat Thani MP.

Mr Suthep declared the establishment of a people’s tribunal on Ratchdamnoen Avenue on Monday at 6pm to deal with the government which, he charged, has severely damaged the country.

The government will have only three days to respond and act, he told demonstrators.

The Upper House was originally scheduled to debate the amnesty bill on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Ms Yingluck joined a special meeting of Pheu Thai MPs and members to assess the latest political situation.

She was flanked by three core leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) – Veerakarn Musikapong, Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikua.

Ms Yingluck said she was glad to meet the three members, adding that it was the duty of Pheu Thai Party to explain to the public the government’s determination to help people who have been treated unfairly.

Mr Jatuporn said it would be impossible to withdraw the amnesty bill by Monday as demanded by Mr Suthep.

He said Mr Suthep intentionally set Monday as the deadline to coincide with the International Court of Justice’s verdict on the Preah Vihear border dispute.

The World Court is set to start reading the verdict at 4pm Monday (Bangkok time).

He said his group has no choice but to join forces in protecting the government in light of a move to topple the Yingluck administration.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party has coordinated with UDD members to set up 10 stages in Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Chonburi to explain political facts to the people.