Thai protesters to attend government reform forum

Bangkok, Dec 13: At least three representatives of Thailand’s anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee will attend a government-held forum Sunday, one of the three representatives Suriyasai Katasila said Friday.

About 100 representatives of the public and private sectors have been invited for the political reform forum Friday, proposed by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, permanent secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office Tongthong Chantharangsu said.

According to Tongthong, these representatives come from business organisations, ministries, media, political parties, the senate, universities, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and also pro-government “Red Shirts”, reports Xinhua.

The forum is expected to help Thailand find a way out of the current political deadlock before the New Year, ahead of the general elections scheduled for Feb 2, 2014, he said.

The PDRC will organise a forum of its own Saturday, according to its secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban.

The PDRC insists that an agreement on how to reform the country be reached before the general elections. Otherwise, the elections have to be postponed, Suthep added.

A number of PDRC core leaders, including Suthep, will meet top military brass Saturday to explain their reform plans and seek support from the military leaders.

Earlier, Suthep sought meetings with senior military and police leaders. The request was turned down by national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew.

According to army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, at first, all commanders of the armed forces decided together not the meet the PDRC leaders.

But in a statement issued Thursday, the armed forces said the meeting could lead to an exchange of views, which would be followed by a peaceful solution.