Thai Govt: No Peace Talks Unless Protests End

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BANGKOK, Thailand -- One day after Red Shirt protestors in Bangkok said they would accept a Senate proposal to negotiate a truce, Thai leaders said there would be no cease fire until the protestors return to their camps.

The intense fighting between police and the Red Shirts has left approximately 37 people dead.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva defended the military crackdown, saying it is aimed at an armed group that has infiltrated the Red Shirts.

The Red Shirts are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006 for corruption charges. The group says Abhisit's appointment is illegitimate and that he should step down and call for new elections.

Abhisit has proposed that new elections be set in November, but the Red Shirts feel that's too late.

On Sunday, a Red Shirt leader requested the withdrawal of troops and for negotiations to resume with international mediation. The government rejected that proposal.

Due to the volatile situation, tourists have been advised to stay away from Thailand.

One British couple told CBN News about their recent visit to Thailand. They say they have no plans to return.

"The local people wouldn't help us go through," Urszula Wojciechowska said. "They said 'no, we're stopping here, but you can go through with your hands up.' So, we had to walk through the square with our arms up to get back to our hotel. (It was) really scary."

The Thai government is so far determined to enforce the rule of law against the perpetrators, thus saving the country from what could become a civil war.

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Lucile Talusan and Heather Sells

Lucile Talusan and Heather Sells

CBN News

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