IPU chief urges Thai lawmakers to push for end to violence
The head of the Inter-Parliamentary Union called Tuesday on Thai lawmakers to "assume their responsibilities" and find an end to the violence in Bangkok which has left 38 dead.
"Every parliament must lead by example," said Theo-Ben Gurirab, the president of the IPU, a grouping of 155 national parliaments and regional assemblies.
Pointing out that parliamentarians are responsible for representing the population, he noted that the "Thai people are asking for peace and an end to the violence."
"I therefore call on all our friends in the Thai parliament to assume their responsibilities and to do their part in ending the conflict," said Gurirab, adding that "only dialogue, negotiations and compromise can bring lasting solutions."
The IPU chief's remarks came as Thailand's government rejected proposed peace talks with "Red Shirt" protesters, saying they must first abandon their Bangkok rally site.
Gurirab called on parliamentarians to call "publicly for an end to the violence and in urging the demonstrators in the streets to end their occupation and help restore law and order in the country."
He also urged lawmakers to work in a constructive spirit to find a "just solution" that would be acceptable to the Thai society.
© 2010 AFP