Thai minister seeks UN’s help to resolve crisis

Bangkok, Feb 26: Amid violence and chaos, Thailand’s caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he had spoken with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday to discuss ways out of the current political crisis.

Surapong said that the deaths of four innocent children earlier this month had guided his decision, the Bangkok Post reported Wednesday.

He said he thought about inviting Ban to give advice since the UN was highly experienced in dealing with conflicts.

“If we could bring the UN in to initiate talks, a solution to the conflict in Thailand might be reached. At 9 a.m. today (Wednesday) I talked on the telephone with Ban Ki-moon to directly discuss this matter with him,” he was quoted as saying.

The anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader, Suthep Thaugsuban has said he did not know of anyone who could be a trusted middleman to mediate peace talks, Surapong said, so the UN might be the most suitable one to take up this role, the report said.

“Today, the Thai people must be open-minded. Do not think that this would be an intervention. If a civil war breaks out in Thailand, the UN would have to step in anyway to solve problems and build reconciliation,” Surapong added.