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Govt thanks Ban; Abhisit sends letter to UN

Caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan yesterday thanked United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon for his bid to head off a violent "Bangkok shutdown" and for his concern over the country's political situation.

Ban said on Friday at a press conference that he had spoken to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in the past three days in an effort to help them bridge their differences.

Charupong said the world was watching the country with concern, so anti-government protesters should not act on a whim. He said the prime minister decided to dissolve the House on December 9 last year following anti-government protests to prevent clashes so that the country could move on. The Abhisit government, on the other hand, had refused to dissolve the House even though 99 people were killed in political riots, and dissolved the House in 2011 only when he met a dead-end, Charupong said.

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party planned to submit a letter to the UN's headquarters in New York today to explain the country's political situation and clarify false information it says Yingluck gave to Ban.

The party dismissed claims that independent agencies had interfered in politics, saying the Constitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission had acted within the law, while insisting the government broke the law and was corrupt.

The party insisted Abhisit disapproved of the amnesty bills, even though he was part of the committee drafting them. The Democrats also accused Yingluck of telling lies by claiming that ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and red shirt leaders were excluded from the amnesty bills.

The party insisted Abhisit had not blocked reform but would support the process if the government withdrew the amnesty bills. The party also denied allegations that People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters use narcotics and accused the government of allowing ill-intentioned groups to attack PDRC guards.

The Democrats said Yingluck put the country at risk for refusing to accept the Election Commission's proposal to postpone the election.


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