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Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to meet Red Shirt leaders for negotiations

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Signs of possible conciliation by both parties appeared Sunday as Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva agreed to negotiate with the Red Shirt leaders.

The time for the meeting is to be confirmed, Prime Minister's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said but initially, Red Shirt leaders agreed to meet the PM at King Prajadhipok’s Institute for talks to be broadcast live on TV.

The prime minister had earlier said he would not parley with anti-government protesters seeking to oust his government under an  intimidating and pressuring atmosphere as tens of thousands demonstrators rally outside his temporary office at a military base.

In his announcement which was telecast live on television, Mr Abhisit said the Red Shirt protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) said they would send their  representatives to discuss ways to end the political deadlock at the 11th Infantry Regiment with him on Sunday.

via PM Abhisit to meet Red Shirt leaders for televised negotiations at King Prajadhipok’s Institute.

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Thailand’s Vaccine Strategy: What went wrong?

Questions are being asked, and not answered, over the decision to rely almost entirely on Siam Bioscience, a local, palace-owned company with no experience of making vaccines, for the country’s vaccine needs, until an unseemly scramble began this year to procure alternatives.

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Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.

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Politics

Thailand falls to 73rd position in Economist’s Democracy Index

Within Southeast Asia, Thailand’s score regressed in 2020, falling to 73rd from 68th, including those related to the treatment of the opposition and to curbs on freedom of expression.

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Democracy in sickness and in health? is the title of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Democracy Index report, which looks at the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on freedom and democracy around the world.

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