Standoff between Red Shirts, Thai Government shows no signs of subsiding

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Bangkok, May 17 (ANI): The deadlock between the Thai Government and Red Shirts shows no signs of ending anytime soon. While UDD leaders are demanding the withdrawal of troops as the only condition for talks, the Government asserts that talks can take place only if UDD calls off its rally.

Red Shirts leaders have said they are ready to ask their supporters to retreat and commence unconditional dialogue with the Government if it withdraws troops from the rally site.

The Government maintains that UDD leaders should first show sincerity by ending their rally, ceasing attacks on government security forces and stopping all riotous acts. If the UDD did this, the government would reactivate its reconciliation plan, acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said on Monday, the Bangkok Post reports.

The agitation might also spread to other parts of the country, especially north and northeast Thailand if the Government coerces the protestors to vacate the site. UDD supporters in the provinces are vowing to strike back if the government disperses protestors from Ratchprasong, the paper reports.

Meanwhile, the protracted agitation is costing the country's economy heavily having already caused losses to the tune of 0.5 percent of its GDP. Contrary to popular belief, the protests have adversely affected many sectors of the economy apart from tourism. (ANI)

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