Posts Tagged ‘US’s longtime accomplice Thailand’
30/4/2010(AFP)—BANGKOK – The international community is urging a peaceful resolution to Thailand’s protracted political crisis but is unlikely to intervene in the affairs of the key Western ally, experts say.
Following a series of violent confrontations in the heart of Bangkok and weeks of mass anti-government protests that have hit many businesses, including foreign hotels, diplomats say privately they are very worried.
But foreign governments seem unlikely to put strong pressure on either the protesters – who want greater social equality – or the authorities, who are insisting that they will not be bullied into calling snap elections. ‘There’s no real pressure being applied. People are just listening to both sides but trying to keep neutral ground,’ said one European diplomat on condition of anonymity.
Governments across the world have issued calls for ‘restraint’ and for a negotiated solution following the worst political violence in almost two decades, which has left 27 people dead and hundreds injured this month. ‘To date the level of bloodshed has not been such that a decisive intervention from the outside is going to happen,’ said Michael Montesano, a Singapore-based Thailand expert.
The United States, a longstanding and staunch ally of Thailand, is among the countries that have condemned the violence. The US embassy has also ‘intensively engaged in discussions’ both with the Thai government and the ‘Red Shirts’, a US State Department spokesman told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
‘And our message remains … to peacefully resolve the situation,’ he said, without disclosing whether those talks were ongoing. Washington is thought unlikely to move beyond the usual expressions of concern and calls for restraint in a country that is often seen as a pillar of stability in the region despite its frequent political upheaval.