Negotiations Between Red Shirts and Government Failed Again

"Red base through their bamboo fort! #redshirts #redtweet" (Picture courtesy of @Dany_k)

In the light of the deadly blasts on Thursday evening in Silom, killing one person (not 3 as previously reported), a tiny glimmer of hope emerged as the anti-government red shirts offered to continue negotiating talks with the government, but was soon dashed as they rejected the red shirts' compromise.

The red shirts demanded parliament to be dissolved in 30 days (instead of previously two weeks or right away) and an independent inquiry on the deadly clashes of April 10, in order for the protesters to disperse.

But prime minister Abhisit rejected the offer. In an interview with Al Jazeera English, he explained why.

[youtube=]"Thai PM rejects offer from red shirts", video by Al Jazeera English

With the rejection by the prime minister hopes for a peaceful and soonish solution have been yet again shattered.

On Sunday Abhisit appeared on TV, siting alongside with army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda, to elaborate further on his decision.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on television Sunday that he continued to seek a peaceful solution to the country’s tense political standoff but that he would not give in to what he called intimidation by anti-government demonstrators.

With his military commander, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, sitting beside him, he rejected a call by the “red shirt” protesters for a dissolution of Parliament within 30 days, saying, “The ultimatum is just aimed at getting the attention of the foreign media.” (...)

“Negotiations must be done to find a solution for most of the country, not just the red shirts, who are just part of society,” Mr. Abhisit said.

"Thai Prime Minister Stands His Ground", New York Times, April 25, 2010

There was a minor incident that might have prevented Abhisit to get his message across to everybody*.

The program went off the air briefly, with the prime minister later blaming the disruption on "ill-intentioned people." Thailand's police force, army and other agencies are believed to be infiltrated by Red Shirt supporters, but it was unclear whether the opposition somehow disrupted the television signal.

"Thai PM says he underestimated protesters", Associated Press, April 25, 2010

*It can be debated that anyone watches the prime minister's weekly television show - it's boring!