Monday, May 3, 2010

A Path to Peace in Bangkok?

Thailand's The Nation reports on the latest peace overture from Prime Minister Abhisit:
Is the light at the end of the tunnel that of a train coming our way? The answer depends on how the red shirts, who have been tired, dispirited and discredited, respond today to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's unexpected offer to hold a general election on November 14.
The light at the end of the tunnel well could be a train since ABC Radio Australia reports that some are predicting a civil war in Thailand:
Leading global think tank the International Crisis Group says Thailand's political system seems incapable of ending violent protests that have gripped Bangkok for two months.
Nonetheless, there is hope that a compromise can be reached, as The Nation story continues:
Optimists say the Rajprasong occupation may even end in a day or two. They see Abhisit's offer as a carrot being dangled before demoralised red leaders who have had their personal well-being threatened by possibly serious legal action and their image smeared by the Chulalongkorn Hospital invasion, arms seizures, as well as alleged links with armed militants.

The real "stick" is yet to come. On Sunday, an emergency Cabinet meeting was called to approve the possibility of an armed crackdown, which would almost surely be accompanied by terrorism charges against key leaders, who already face lesser accusations of violating the state of emergency law.

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