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PAD rallies against Thaksin, Hun Sen
Updated: 2009-11-16 00:32

PAD rallies against Thaksin, Hun Sen
Yellow-shirted protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok November 15, 2009. [Agencies]

BANGKOK: The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) group staged a mass rally against ousted former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Thailand's capital Bangkok on Sunday.  

By 8:30 p.m. local time, over 10,000 PAD protesters, or the yellow-shirted people, were rallying at Sanam Luang in the center of Bangkok after they officially started their protest from 4 p.m., local time.  

The PAD rally, which was participated by the supporters from both Bangkok and many provinces across the country, was occurring after Thailand and Cambodia have downgraded their diplomatic relations due to conflict over an appointment of Thaksin as an economic advisor to the Cambodian government and Hun Sen on November 4.

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The PAD supporters ranged from the general public, students, employees of state enterprises, war veteran members, non- governmental organizations, to taxi drivers.    

Meanwhile, the protesters' clothes were not only yellow, but also in other various colors as the PAD leaders focused on the country's unity amid the various colors.    

The PAD protesters were announcing that they were united to show the world the Thai people's strength and to protect the country's dignity against Cambodia and Thaksin.    

"The purpose of this rally, we want to communicate to the world, Thais, and Cambodians, and to former Premier Thaksin and the Cambodian Prime Minister that what they are doing are not right, and the Thai people can not take this," Pibhob Dhongchai, one of the PAD core leaders, said at the rally.    

And, among a number of the students participating in the rally, one female student, who was present at the rally stage, urged those pro-Thaksin people to change their mind.

About 1,500 police were deployed to ensure law and order around the rally site.  

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Sunday the government has not imposed the Internal Security Act during the PAD rally since there was no sign of violence to occur, Thai News Agency reported.      

Also, Suthep denied reports, which said the government took its people to join the PAD rally as he said "the government wouldn't do this."

In a related development, Thailand's Acting Police Chief, Police General Pateep Tanprasert echoed Suthep's statement, saying that he was not reported about a third hand, who was feared to incite violence.

Pateep said he has ordered his policemen to closely monitor the rally situation and areas surrounding the rally site.  

The PAD core leaders earlier announced that the rally will not prolong as the PAD demonstrators will disperse peacefully at about 11:00 p.m., local time.      

By this time, it remained uncertain how the diplomatic standoff between Thailand and Cambodia will end.

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