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Thailand's complex conflict leaves little room for negotiation

Publication Date : 24-01-2014

 

There's a need for all sides to condemn political violence, and it should be recognised that violence is not the best solution. The best solution would come through negotiations, but we do not know when that might take place, because the two conflicting parties have almost fully shut the door to it.

The political crisis today in fact involves many conflicts, such as the Yingluck Shinawatra administration versus the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC); the government versus the Election Commission; the government versus the Armed Forces; the government versus the opposition Democrat Party; the government versus some government officials; the government versus rice farmers; the Armed Forces versus the police; the PDRC versus the red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, and more.

Many of the people and relationships in these conflicts overlap. Nevertheless, it is the government that is facing the most daunting challenges, because it seems to have no answer to resolve the conflicts beyond pushing the country towards the February 2 snap election no matter what may happen along the way. But the caretaker government is almost unable to function at present.

Thailand has been deeply divided since 2006 and has seen the creation of staunch supporters of the respective sides.

"I must persevere and do not know how long I will have to bear [the situation]," Yingluck was quoted as saying to people close to her in a private moment.

At times, one may feel pity for the caretaker premier, but she accepted her job voluntarily and once she's at the helm it's her responsibility to work to the best of her abilities. One must remember that the flame of protest was partly ignited by the actions of the administration itself.

For those who think military action may allow Thailand a closure, they must remember that a coup would play into the hands of Yingluck. There are sources suggesting that the administration is lobbying global media to keep a close eye on the February 2 election, which is the only card the government has in its hands. If something untoward occurs, it would benefit the government, and the world community is unlikely to accept a coup. Also, the past has lessons to teach the Army.

Thus this Sunday, January 26, will be a testing date, as advance voting is scheduled to take place. The next will be February 2, despite the fact that candidates in 28 constituencies in the South were unable to register their candidacies.

Whether there will be a new Parliament or not, this Sunday is D-Day and could be the turning point, positive or negative, depending on one's respective political view.

 

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