STALEMATE

Thai PM Meets With Protesters

Thailand's prime minister sat down with protesters who are demanding the dissolution of the parliamentary body and lobbying for new elections. The "red shirts," as the opposition group is known, had descended on central Bangkok by the thousands, threatening to take to the streets again if their requests were not met. In a rare move, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva met with protesters for televised talks. "[The] polarization problem [in Thailand] has deepened too far to be just solved by dissolving the parliament," he said. Protesters are ardent loyalists of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who was unseated in a 2006 non-violent military coup. He has since fled the country in light of corruption charges. Post-coup, Thailand has been embroiled in political turmoil largely resulting from its fiercely divided citizenry, some of whom support Vejjajiva and others who remain loyal to Shinawatra.