Invitation to UN chief confirmed

The caretaker government has invited United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to visit Thailand to discuss ways the UN can help the country deal with the political crisis, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Thailand would like to thank the UN secretary-general for closely following in the ongoing political conflict," Sek Wannamethi, director-general of the ministry's Department of Information, said Friday.

"Thailand, as a member of the UN, has to respond to the UN's proposal and listen to its advice."

Mr Sek said the UN secretary-general had been invited to visit Thailand soon to meet different sides, listen to their opinions and observe the overall situation. The UN has experience in jointly finding solutions, he added.

The request to the UN has raised eyebrows among critics of the caretaker government and the Pheu Thai Party.

Commentators have pointed out that the party's de facto leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, famously declared that "the UN is not my father" in response to UN criticism of his human rights record as prime minister more than a decade ago.

On Thursday, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky confirmed at a daily media briefing that Mr Ban did have a telephone conversation with caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul to discuss Thailand's political situation.

"Well, I think the Thai [media] have reported a telephone conversation with the foreign minister, and I confirm that there was such a telephone conversation," Mr Nesirky said.

He said the secretary-general was closely monitoring the situation in Thailand and was concerned about the recent violence.

Mr Surapong, an adviser to the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), told reporters on Wednesday that he had spoken to Mr Ban and was considering inviting him to give advice on conflict resolution to prevent other countries losing confidence in Thailand.

"If we could bring the UN in to initiate talks, a solution to the conflict might be reached," he said. "I talked on the phone to Ban Ki-moon to discuss this matter."

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 01/03/2014 at 11:29 AM
It will be real interesting when he shows up with the UNCAC guidelines to end corruption, as the PDRC want the government to follow, and implement. I expect to then hear those famous words "He's not my father, or mother", when the convict Thaksin gets openly involved, and then the UN chief tells the government to issue international arrest warrants so the UN can take direct police action against him, or instruct Interpol to do it, and for all UN nations to hasten the arrest, and extradition of Thaksin. Ban Ki-moon is also a strong supporter of ending corruption above all else.
Discussion 2 : 01/03/2014 at 07:43 AM
The elections in 2011 were free and fair and the 2014 was blocked by PDRC . The PDRC blocked thousands from exercising their right . This was unlawful and unacceptable conduct by PDRC . Thailand will never return to normal until DP/PDRC realise that solution is not going to power via undemocratic means but via the ballot box only.
Discussion 3 : 01/03/2014 at 07:39 AM
Why are you being sarcastic to the idea of Ban Ki Moon participatiting, or you prefer to see a blood bath
Discussion 4 : 01/03/2014 at 06:48 AM
If a movement is able to federate the majority around its project, it runs the elections and easily win them. Otherwise, pretending to speak in the name of people who don't vote is meaningless and has no validity. Ban will have no problem about that : elections everywhere in the world are based on people who vote, not on the ones who don't. And especially not based on the ones who don't participate and then pretend to have won it.
Discussion 5 : 01/03/2014 at 12:21 AM
Good idea - and what shall Ban do? - he can ask the UN- Council of Security to send hundreds of blue-helmed soldiers from Sweden or Germany to oversee elections and regulate traffic in Bangkok. What will Y.S. and Chalerm tell, if Ban ask for the results of last election? - 'We have the majority of 20% behind us! - 55% of voters are not voting, from 45% voters arround half give vote No or no vote. - Ban wouldt be amused. :)
Discussion 6 : 28/02/2014 at 09:49 PM
Maybe they could invite Tony Blair and Bill Clinton to join Ban Ki-moon for a huge photo opportunity. Then, like last time, disregard any advice they offer.

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