Thai PM begs for truce, suspended protests

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BANGKOK, Nov 7 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today pleaded with protesters for dispersal and warned against infiltration by a third party which may instigate violence at rally sites in Bangkok.

She gave reassurances that the Senate will reject the amnesty bill which was passed by the House of Representatives, while other legislations related to amnesty and reconciliation, pending the Lower House’s debates, will be withdrawn.

“It is clear that everything has ended despite the fact that the bills have sought to help those affected by the political upheaval and the military coup (in 2006),” she said.

“The bill is not in favour of suspects in corruption in the rice pledging scheme or the Bt350 billion water management projects as widely claimed.”

Ms Yingluck said the government will definitely avoid using military force in dealing with demonstrators, but it would rather provide conveniences to protesters and people.

“Please do not be misled by rumours and take into thorough consideration information from all sides. Avoid approaching rally sites for fear of a third party’s interference,” said the prime minister.

She said an elected government respects the voice of the people and will definitely not reconsider the amnesty bill, adding that the political turmoil would affect the country’s economy, investors’ confidence and eliminate Thailand’s chance to become the hub of Southeast Asia.

“The government is ready for talks and willing to listen. It doesn’t want a lengthy chaos. It will not act against the people’s will. Neither will it do anything that disturb His Majesty the King,” said Ms Yingluck.

She warned that Thailand would be branded by the global community if an elected government is toppled and that the government would be willing to go through scrutiny by independent organisations.

Ms Yingluck said the opposition Democrat Party should tone down its conditions which could lead to disputes and pacified the Thai people now that all amnesty-related bills would be withdrawn from Parliament.

She said the government would find ways to help activists who have been imprisoned for their political protests. Meanwhile, the Democrat-led demonstration at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue has increased its security guards from 1,000 to 3,000 personnel for safety of the protesters.

The protest spokesman Ekkanat Prompan said the security personnel adjustment has been made in a wake of reports of possible disturbances as more protesters are expected to join the demonstration tonight.

National Police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew today expressed concern over possible violence in the evening by instigators.

Gen Adul admitted that intelligence reports indicated that protesters are likely to intrude into the off-limits areas under the Internal Security Act enforcement.

Pledging that police will strictly enforce the law to prevent any intrusion of the protesters, he said he believes police are able to handle the situation and there is no need to call for reinforcements from regional police or military personnel.