BANGKOK, Oct 24 — The Thai government has showed its firm intention to end political tensions amid a growing tide of student-led anti-government demonstrations calling for political change since mid-July.
Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said the government has revoked the Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok on Oct 22 which reflects its firm intention to open dialogue with all relevant political groups.
“The government has heard the concerns of the protesters and it is time to come together and find ways to move forward.
“We hope that the protesters will be ready to participate in the consultation, which is a democratic means in finding common grounds between opposing ideas,” he said in a statement here today.
On Oct 15, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha declared Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok in a bid to end three months of student-led street protests. The emergency measures including banning public gathering of five people or more, and publication of news and other online messages that could affect national security.
However, the declaration prompted daily demonstrations by thousands of anti-government protesters in Bangkok and spread to other cities repeating their demands for political change, including for the prime minister to step down, the dissolution of Parliament, rewriting of the Constitution, and to bring reform to the monarchy.
On Thursday, the government made the first move to de-escalate the situation by lifting the Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok
Anucha said the ongoing political situation comprises many opposing views among different groups and all parties should rather take this as an opportunity for Thais to consult each other on what is best for the nation.
“Since the issues at stake involve and affect all Thai people, a solution through parliamentary process is appropriate, because elected member of parliament in the Parliament represent all sectors of the society,” he said.
A special parliamentary session to discuss the on-going anti-government protests will be held on Oct 26 and 27.
Anucha said the amendment of the constitution, as demanded by the protesters, will be among the issues on the agenda to be discussed.
“This is a challenging time for Thailand. It is recommended that all stakeholders take a step back to have a wider perspective and to jointly reach a solution that takes the views of all sides into consideration.
“If all parties are committed to exercise full restraint and flexibility, the circumstances would be more conducive to de-escalating the current tense political conflict and reaching an outcome that is acceptable to all stakeholders,” he said.
Thai protesters have given Prayuth until today’s 10 pm (local time) to quit. They said they would return in large numbers if Prayuth failed to meet their three-day deadline to resign.
To date, police have arrested at least 78 people including student leaders and activists.
A crowd has gathered outside Bangkok Remand Prison in Bangkok since last night, calling the authorities to free protest leaders and protesters.