Thai anti-gov't "red-shirt" leader promises peaceful rally

08:39, May 20, 2011      

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Anti-government "red shirt" protesters wear hats with pictures of toppled premier Thaksin Shinawatra as they pray during a rally at Ratchaprasong intersection at Bangkok's shopping district May 19, 2011.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Anti-government "red-shirt" leader said Thursday the mass rally to commemorate last year's protest in downtown Bangkok will be peaceful.

Red-shirt leader Thida Thavornsret called on all red-shirt demonstrators to follow the "two arms" strategy, in which UDD supporters are compared as the right arm and will not harm or disturb the left one, representing the general public who also want a full-fledged democracy.

Thida said the red-shirt will closely monitor the election to ensure that the election, set on July 3, would be held transparently and the political party winning the majority of seats will be able to form a new government.

Thousands of red-shirt protesters on Thursday gathered at the Ratchaprasong intersection, the main site of last year's protest despite heavy rain. The gathering is expected to end before midnight.

Last year's protest by the red-shirts was held from March 14 to May 19, which caused 91 deaths and nearly 2,000 injuries.

The anti-government protestors occupied Ratchaprasong intersection, Bangkok's central business zone, for more than one month and called for Abhisit Vejjajiva's government to dissolve the parliament and hold fresh election. The demonstration ended after a week-long confrontation with the troops.

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Source: Xinhua
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