Ban urges respect of democracy

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has urged constructive dialogue to end the prolonged political tension in Thailand and reiterated his call that all parties exercise “utmost restraint”, in a statement issued on Tuesday in New York.

“The secretary-general is closely following the latest developments in Thailand, where the army declared martial law,” Stephane Dujarric, Mr Ban’s spokesperson, said in the statement.

Mr Ban has consistently called on all sides to work together to seek a solution to the prolonged political stalemate through constructive dialogue, the statement said.

“The way to secure Thailand's peace and prosperity is through full respect for democratic principles and engagement in democratic processes,” it said.

“The secretary-general urges all sides to exercise utmost restraint, refrain from any violence and fully respect human rights.”

Months of unrest have again erupted into protests in Thailand. The rallies began in late 2013, with demonstrators calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration and implementation of anti-corruption reforms. On May 7, Ms Shinawatra was removed from the government after a ruling by the constitutional Court.

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