Thai patriots protest, seek government resignation on temple dispute

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BANGKOK, May 9 – A people’s network protesting against the Thai-Cambodian temple dispute rallied at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang yesterday and vowed to continue demonstrating until the government resigns.

Chaiwat Sinsuwong, spokesman of the Thai Patriotic Front against the Phra Viharn (Preah Vihear) Conflict, said the group asked permission from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to be at Sanam Luang and protesters should number 100,000 persons within this week.

“We already have 30,000 people and it would be too troublesome to move elsewhere. We will replant grass and trees after the rally is called off,” he said.

Thailand and Cambodia’s dispute over Phra Viharn temple is pending a verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) scheduled for late this year.

Mr Chaiwat said the group aims at collecting names of five million people to support the move to be submitted to the United Nations secretary general, the ICJ and the United Nations Security Council.

Sanam Luang will be the venue for the annual royal ploughing ceremony on Monday.

Mr Chaiwat said the group has yet to decide if it will move to other location to put more pressure on the government.

He said it is up to the Bangkok governor’s judgement whether the group will be allowed to continue demonstrating at Sanam Luang. Mr Chaiwat is a former Bangkok deputy governor.