Some Thai people hold New Year countdown at military crack-down site

10:30, January 01, 2011      

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Tens of thousands of Thai people on Friday joined a major New Year countdown in central Bangkok at the spot which was the scene of a deadly military crack-down of anti-government "red-shirt" protesters earlier this year.

The event at the Ratchaprasong intersection, an upscale commercial district, drew probably the largest crowd of New Year celebrators among all countdown events in the country.

Shopping complexes in the area imposed high security measures against any untoward incidents.

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

A recent poll by the private-owned Bangkok University found out that Thai people saw the arson of CentralWorld and other smaller buildings in the last days of UDD protests as the country's most terrible incident of 2010.

The countdown in front of CentralWorld, whose reconstruction is still on-going, included performance by many of Thai famous singers. It went on without any violence.

Source: Xinhua
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