Thailand to hold New Year's count-down at May's military crack-down site

22:11, December 14, 2010      

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Thailand plans to hold its major New Year's countdown event in the capital at the spot where earlier this year was the scene of a deadly military crack-down of anti-government "red-shirt" protesters.

The event in the evening of Dec. 31 will be held at Ratchaprasong intersection, an upscale commercial district in central Bangkok, Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the state Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), told reporters on Tuesday.

In April and May this year, the "red-shirt" protesters, also known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, staged their rallies at the area in calling for the dissolution of the House of Representatives, paralyzing the capital's center for weeks.

The protest ended on May 19 after the soldiers used force to disperse the crowd. A total of 91 people were killed during the protest and a major front-wing building of CentralWorld, a big luxurious shopping complex at Ratchaprasong, was entirely burnt down.

The count-down event on Dec. 31 will be staged in front of CentralWorld, where reconstruction is still on-going. Parts of the major shopping complex have been re-opened since late September.

TAT's Suraphon said apart from CentralWorld, other count-down events will be organized in 32 locations across the country in 20 provinces.

In Bangkok, a separate celebration will be staged at another shopping complex in the northern suburb of Bangkok.

Source: Xinhua
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