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December 07, 2013

Thai PM: Government Willing to Negotiate With Protesters

by VOA News

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says she sees no immediate end to her country's political impasse.

But Yingluck says Thai officials are willing to negotiate with opposition protesters aiming to overthrow the government.  She has said the only option the protesters now see is forcing the government to dissolve and for her to resign.

Opposition leaders have said they will not rest until Yingluck quits and turns over control to an unelected council.

At least four people have been killed and many wounded in recent protests. The demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.  

The senate rejected the bill but protests have continued.

Thaksin, Prime Minister Yingluck's billionaire brother, was ousted in a 2006 military coup.

The conflict pits Bangkok's urban middle class and royalist elite against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and Thaksin.

Protests had been stopped temporarily out of respect for Thailand's revered monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who turned 86 on Thursday.