THAILAND - Six independent organisations are calling on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to nominate 10 individuals each, who can mediate between both sides and help end the political impasse.
Leaders of the six agencies - the Election Commission, National Human Rights Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, National Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Auditor-General and National Economic and Social Advisory Council - hope to get a reply from the two sides within a week.
"The big question is which individuals will be acceptable to both?" Election Commission member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn asked, adding that the mass media should also encourage both sides to come up with names.
Somchai said putting differences on the table was the best way forward for the country and the six organisations would only facilitate the creation of a mediation team, comprised of at least five members who are acceptable to both sides and have no specific agenda set in advance.
"Obviously, there can be no negotiation if neither side is willing ... The country has suffered enough and will suffer even more if there are no talks. If they won't come up with nominees, then we can't go any further, which means there are no Thais who can act as mediators … So carry on with the war. We have created a bridge for both sides, but if they won't use it, it's their choice, though they will have to take responsibility if it causes more damage to the country," Somchai said, adding that the public also wanted mediators to be nominated.