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Asia

Thai PM says he will honor findings of probe into violence

Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, who has been criticized by opposition politicians, has told parliament he will accept the findings of an independent investigation into the military crackdown, which has yet to be set up.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva addresses parliament on June 1, 2010

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva addresses parliament on June 1, 2010

The Thai prime minister has been accused by opposition politicians of violating human rights when he ordered a military crackdown on anti-government protesters who had been demonstrating in the streets of Bangkok for weeks.

However, he is expected to survive a no-confidence motion against him and five of his ministers in parliament because his ruling coalition holds a majority in the lower house.

The opposition Puea Thai Party claims that excessive force was used by the army last month.

The opposition says excessive use of violence was used to quell anti-government protests in Bangkok

The opposition says excessive use of violence was used to quell anti-government protests in Bangkok

UN calls for independent probe

On Monday, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called for an independent investigation into the protests and deadly violence that left 89 people dead and almost 2,000 injured in total.

On the second day of a parliamentary debate on the censure motion, Abhisit said he and deputy premier Suthep Thaungsuban would accept the results "whatever the outcome of the fact-finding investigation."

But both politicians defended the government's handling of the protests.

"In the past two days your aim has been to make people believe that the prime minister and I ordered the military to kill people," Suthep told the opposition in parliament. "Your allegations are extremely unfair to those soldiers."

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsuban

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsuban

No fresh elections in sight

The Oxford-educated prime minister has retracted an offer to hold elections in November.

Some observers think he might be able to fend off pressure to go to the polls until his term in office expires at the end of next year.

The red-shirted protesters took to the streets in March to call for new elections. They say that the current government is undemocratic because it came to power with the support of the army.

act/AFP/AP
Editor: Disha Uppal

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