Thailand riots: Thai king appeals to people to work for country’s stability, security

BANGKOK: The 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being celebrated in Thailand amid a temporary truce between anti-government protesters and the government on Thursday, while the king in his message to the people asked them to perform their duties for the stability and security of the country.

However, the king avoided making any direct comment on the latest political unrest that has deeply polarized the Buddhist majority nation.

On the other hand, tension and fear continue to prevail in the country because anti-government protesters have vowed to maintain pressure on the government and fight after the royal birthday till their demands are met.

At least five persons have been killed while over two hundred others have injured in clashes over the past week as protesters have been attempting to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from power.

In his birthday speech which was broadcast on all television channels on Thursday, the King Bhumibol Adulyadej said that the country “has been peaceful for a long time because everybody worked together.”

“Every Thai should be aware of this and should perform their role for the benefit of the country, which is the stability and security of the country,” he said.

The anti-government protesters led by Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier, accuse Yingluck Shinawatra-led government of being a proxy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the elder brother of current PM Shinawatra.

The government came under more criticism when it tried to pass an amnesty bill last month which would pave the way for the Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006 by the military and in self-exile in Dubai, to return without facing any trial.

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