Suthep rejects mediation proposal

The latest bid to resolve the country’s political conflict has been rejected by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who said attempts by six independent organisations to find neutral people to mediate peace talks are doomed to fail.

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Representatives from the Election Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), the State Audit Commission, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Economic and Social Advisory Council (Nesac) on Monday said they would ask the caretaker government and the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to each nominate 10 neutral people to mediate future peace talks.

But the PDRC leader refused the idea while addressing supporters at Lumpini Park rally site on Monday evening, shortly after Ms Yingluck told reporters she would not be the first to nominate mediators and would wait to see the PDRC's reaction to the proposal.     

“I can answer her right now and say ‘do not wait’ because I will not nominate anyone,” Mr Suthep said in response to Ms Yingluck’s remarks.   

His reaction came hours after the six public independent agencies announced their proposal to try convince both sides of the political divide to enter into dialogue. 

"I do not want leaders of the independent organisations to think that I reject their goodwill or am not cooperating, but honestly speaking, they will not be able to find any suitable go-betweens to mediate talks between Yingluck and the great mass uprising,” Mr Suthep said. 

“Yingluck and Thaksin want to hold on to power for as long as they can and will never let go. Do not waste your time because what they want is to continue to occupy Thailand and they will fight in every way, whether legally or illegally, until they lose, then they will seek negotiation.”

The PDRC secretary-general insisted that the agencies should not waste their time and energy in trying to initiate the talks. 

“I sympathise with leaders of the independent agencies. But you have already seen Ms Yingluck’s ways,” he added.

Meanwhile, Noppadon Pattama, a member of Pheu Thai's strategy committee, said the panel had discussed the six agencies' idea and concluded that the government should be left to decide whether to accept. 

“I thank the independent agencies for their good intentions but I think that they should perform their duties first and foremost,” Mr Noppadon said. 

Apiwan Wiriyachai, also a member of the party’s strategy committee, said the roadmap for peace proposed by the agencies would not succeed because the Election Commission, one of the six organisations, had not even been able to hold a successful election.

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