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Bangkok Street Protests Increasing

Updated On: Jun 18, 2008

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has set Friday 20 June as D-Day to hold a major rally at Government House in what it calls a make-or-break attempt to oust Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his cabinet.

PAD leader Sonthi Limthongkul, formerly close to Thaksin, announced last night that Friday was the day to ''demand the country back'' from those who corrupted and exploited it. His call was applauded by demonstrators who rallied on Ratchadamnoen Nok avenue near Government House.

Chamlong Srimuang, another PAD leader, urged the demonstrators to protest in front of Government House and avoid entering the compound to cause damage inside because the PAD's goal was to see the end of the government.

The PAD started its current protests against the government on May 25, view PM Samak and his People Power party as mere nominees of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Protests may be spreading. The State Enterprise Labour Relations Confederation yesterday resolved to join the PAD's civil disobedience campaign if the government resorts to force in dispersing the PAD protesters. Confederation secretary-general Sawit Kaewwan claimed the government lacked the legitimacy to run the country as it had acquired power unconstitutionally.

Police deputy spokesman Pol Maj-Gen Surapol Thuanthong said the situation would not become violent if the protesters staged peaceful gatherings without carrying weapons.

The Bangkok Post, 19 June 2008, PAD targets major rally on Friday to oust the govt (By Wassana Nanuam & Penchan Charoensuthipan)