05/10/2010, 00.00
THAILAND
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Red-shirts propose a “red map” to end the country’s political crisis

Anti-government protesters accept PM Abhisit’s road map timetable for new elections, but add new demands, including putting the deputy prime minister on trial for the violence of 10 April and the reopening of an opposition TV station.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) has come up with its own version of the reconciliation plan, a 'red map' in respond to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's five-point road map to end the political standoff. It comes after the prime minister issued an ultimatum yesterday. In their counterproposal, UDD red-shirts accept the dissolution of parliament at the end of September and general elections on 14 November, but add new conditions to end their street protest.

Red-shirt leaders, who back ousted exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, said they would end the occupation of Bangkok’s commercial district of Silom on the condition that the government take responsibility for the violence of 10 April in which 25 people died and more than 900 people were injured.

UDD leader Nattawut Saikua said that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban must turn himself over to the authorities before they would end their protest. "Once Suthep turns himself in to the police, the UDD will disperse and return home," Nattawut said.

For his part, Suthep has rejected claims that he should be held responsible for any deaths in the clash, but a government spokesman said the deputy prime minister would appear before the Department of Special Investigation on Tuesday to hear complaints filed against him by the protesters.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in a televised speech issued an ultimatum against the red-shirts, demanding they come up with a decision by Monday. In case of refusal, he warned that the government would take the appropriate measure to disperse the crowd and re-establish the rule of law.

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