Saturday, 12 February 2011

Thai Anti-government Protesters Continue to Rally in Bangkok

via CAAI


About 2,000 members of the People's Alliance for Democracy walked from the Government House to the Royal Plaza in Bangkok Friday. It happened as the MPs held a parliamentary vote for a charter amendment on electoral law. The protesters have been camping out there since January 25th.

Although the Thai government imposed the Internal Security Act on Tuesday, police took no action against the protesters, but blocked the road that led to the Parliament House to prevent any disruption by demonstrators.

Also at the heart of the protest, a 900-year-old temple along the Thai-Cambodia border that both countries claim as their own.

The protesters accuse Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of being weak in dealing with Cambodia and have also accused his coalition members of massive corruption.

[Sarunyoo Wongkrachang, People's Alliance for Democracy]:
"The only thing we have is our heart filled with patriotism. We have only our hearts and we need to make it known on stage. That's our objective."

The protesters demanded the government revoke a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2000 with Cambodia. They say Thailand is at a disadvantage from the agreement.

They have also called on the government to withdraw from the World Heritage Committee and push back Cambodians who live along the Thai and Cambodia conflict area.

[Surasak Tosom, Protester]:
"The government said they will do things to benefit the people and the country, but they have not done what they said. So they should step down and let people who have the knowledge and ability do so take their place."

Thailand and Cambodia faced growing diplomatic pressure to end the conflicts over the temple, following the deadliest fighting in years.

The temple sits on a triangular plateau that forms a natural border between Thailand and Cambodia.

Both sides have been locked in a standoff since July 2008, when the temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status, which Thailand opposed on grounds that territory around the temple had never been demarcated.

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