Thai protest leader ready to debate on TV
THAI anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said yesterday he was willing to appear in a live TV debate with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, after weeks of refusing any form of talks.
"I'm ready to be the people's representative and talk politics with Ms Yingluck," he told supporters.
"Just tell me when and where. Give us two chairs and a microphone and transmit it live on television, so the people can see," he said.
Thailand has been dogged by nearly four months of round-the-clock violence between supporters of Ms Yingluck and protesters who want her out.
While the crisis is a long way from the running battles of April and May 2010, when more than 90 people were killed, it has stoked uncertainty and spooked investors.
A bomb blast in a busy shopping district killed two children and a woman and wounded at least 22 people near an anti-government protest site on Sunday.
The increased violence in Thailand has prompted the United States to call for restraint by all sides in a conflict that shows no immediate sign of ending.
"Violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said at a daily briefing on Wednesday, condemning the blast and calling it "inexcusable".
"We reiterate our call for all sides to exercise restraint and urge the Thai authorities to investigate thoroughly and transparently all recent acts of violence," she added.