Thai government prays for peace

Abhisit prayed for a swift end to Thailand` political turmoil.

Bangkok: Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday led his government in a ceremony along with Buddhist, Brahmin, Islamic, Christian and Sikh religious leaders to seek good fortune and reconciliation after recent political violence.

Abhisit, his wife, members of cabinet and other government and military officials, prayed for a swift end to political turmoil that killed 89 people and injured 885 in a series of clashes in April and May.

The early morning event at Government House was also attended by some of the country`s top business leaders and was accompanied by tight security.

Peace has returned to Bangkok but anti-government feeling still runs strong, particularly in the northern and north-eastern power bases of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

On Wednesday Thaksin`s legal advisor, Noppadon Pattama, rejected Abhisit`s "road map" to political reconciliation and said the appointment of former attorney-general Khanit na Nakhon to head an investigation into the violence amounted to a whitewash.

Noppadon and leaders of the so-called red shirt protesters said Khanit`s background and his close ties with the ruling Democrat Party made it unlikely that he could carry out an impartial investigation.

Khanit previously headed a probe into extrajudicial killings of some 2,800 drug suspects under the Thaksin government.

He was appointed by the government of then prime minister Surayud Chulanont, which was installed by the generals that overthrew Thaksin in a military coup in 2006.


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