By Prach Panchakunathorn
Thai PM Abhisit is in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum. CNN reports what he said in an interview with their correspondent:
Thailand’s Prime Minister has called on leaders troubled by civil unrest to exercise restraint, less than a year after a bloody military crackdown on the streets of Bangkok.Abhisit Vejjajiva sent in government troops to quell long-running Red Shirt protests in the Thai capital last May. Ninety-one people died and hundreds were injured in the street battles that followed.But as thousands gathered on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez to demand an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-rule, Abhisit — speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — told CNN leaders should respect the wishes of their people.
Asked to offer advice to Mubarak, the Thai PM said: “He should just respect the key principles of governance, respect the wishes of the people, and at the same time do his duties.”
“And Thailand’s prime minister called for restraint. He should know, having sent government troops to stage a bloody crackdown to quell street protests in Bangkok last year, resulting in 91 deaths.”
“For us I think what was important we needed to enforce the law to ensure there was rule of law. At the same time we had to exercise the utmost restraint and to try address whatever legitimate grievances these people on the streets had. And I hope that in another … in a number of other countries they would be able to do the same.”
“The question now is whether President Mubarak will follow [the curfews] with political concessions. He hasn’t in 30 years; he tends to buy off protests with cuts in food prices and by increasing subsidies. That might not be enough this time.
Prach Panchakunathorn is studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, UK.