February 05, 2014 00:00 By The Nation 3,316 Viewed
The United States warned on Monday that a military coup or force was not an acceptable way to end the political crisis in Thailand.
Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the US State Department, said in answering a question from a journalist during a daily briefing. “We certainly do not want to see a coup or violence or recourse to – in this – and in any case, of course,” she said.
The US did not take any sides “but we continue to urge all sides to commit to sincere dialogue to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically”, she said.
“We support a democratic solution to the ongoing tensions in Thailand. So we’re engaged very closely in that on the ground, and we, of course, believe there are more steps that need to be taken in that process,” she said.
Although the Sunday poll went off peacefully in most areas, there were also “disturbing incidents of violence” on the eve of the poll, attempts to block voters and election workers from reaching some voting sites and disruptions to the delivery of some election materials, she said.
“We regret that many voters were prevented from exercising their right, and we reiterate our call for all sides to refrain from violence and exercise restraint to avoid further injuries, loss of life and destruction.”
There were some concerns on how voting was undertaken, especially the fact that some were unable to cast a ballot, and there are new, additional processes that need to take place.
Yesterday, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) voiced concern about the clash between anti-government and pro-election groups on Saturday near Lak Si District Office that involving the use of firearms. The incident left eight injured.
Since it began monitoring on January 13, the agency has been alarmed to see individuals at protest sites with weapons, including firearms. Explosives and guns have also been employed against protest groups by unknown perpetrators, it said.
“OHCHR is concerned that this situation could lead to further outbreaks of serious violence and armed confrontations,” the UN said.
“OHCHR calls on all sides to refrain from carrying weapons or resorting to violence and urges authorities to investigate and hold to account those responsible for the violence.”