5 May 2010

Thai protesters set conditions for talks

7:58 am on 5 May 2010

The leaders of the anti-government protesters in Thailand say they've agreed to enter a reconciliation process, but have set conditions.

The Red Shirts have been holding street demonstrations for nearly two months, and more than 20 people have died during occasional violent clashes with the security forces.

The Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday announced the reconciliation plan in a bid to end the political stand-off. It includes an offer of polls on 14 November.

However the Red Shirts say it shouldn't be up to the Prime Minister to determine the election date. They say they want a fixed date for the dissolution of parliament, and an assurance of "sincerity".

The protesters say they will continue their protest in Bangkok in the meantime.

Among other conditions they're setting are that the Thai monarchy shouldn't be drawn into the dispute, and they want the government to cease what they call aggressive action.