Government-Red Shirt Talks, Round 2

Screenshot by ThaiTVNews

The second round of negotiating talks between the government and their opposing red shirts have seen an increased amount of feisty words, but still lacking any breakthrough deal. Though some progress was there, as seen again for everyone on nationwide TV and radio.

Thailand's prime minister offered Monday to dissolve parliament by the end of the year, but protesters demanding he step down did not immediately accept the compromise, which could have helped resolve the country's political crisis.

(...) The Red Shirts are calling on Abhisit to take action within 15 days, but seemed to express some willingness to extend their deadline.

There were no agreements reached Monday, and even the question of further meetings was left in limbo.

"The negotiations with the government have come to an end. But just how we'd move on from here, I would have to discuss this with my people," Jatuporn told reporters afterward.

(...) Monday's meeting, which lasted two hours, began on a more combative note than Sunday's initial talks, with representatives of the two sides pointing fingers and interrupting each other.

"The current climate is marred with tension and violent tendencies," said Abhisit, in what appeared to be a reference to several unexplained nonfatal grenade attacks around Bangkok in recent days. "One of my concerns is that, as prime minister, I need to create a favorable climate for elections. I have to also consider the opinions of the greater public — who do not necessarily align with particular colors."

(...) Abhisit said he wanted time for his government to carry out such tasks as passing a new budget. But taking action at the end of the year would also allow him to oversee the annual reshuffle of the military, which often interferes in politics. (...)

"Thai PM offers to dissolve parliament by year end", The Associated Press, March 29, 2010

Initially on of the main argument points is if the constitutions has to be amended before, as the reds demanded, or after an election, which the government favors partly for the reasons stated above. It is up the to the red shirts now, whether they still want the government to dissolve now or accept a greater timeframe that could be the end of the year or a few months earlier as mentioned by the reds during the talks. The next (possible) meeting will be on Thursday as PM Abhisit is out of the country.

Full video of Tuesday's talks can be watched here.