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Thailand King doesn`t mention protests, urges peace in his Birthday speech

After days of violence and chaos triggered by fierce anti-government protests, Thailand has finally something to cheer about – The King`s Birthday.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Dec 05, 2013, 16:58 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Bangkok: After days of violence and chaos triggered by fierce anti-government protests, Thailand has finally something to cheer about – The King`s Birthday.

Thailand`s protesters have decided to halt the demonstrations in wake of the 86th birthday of their revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

As the country in mired in protests, all eyes were on the speech made by the King, who enjoys a diety-type reverence.

However, the King did not mention the protests directly and just called for the peace and unity.

Addressing the nation on his birthday from his palace in the town of Hua Hin, the King asked the people to remain united and perform their duties for the common good of all.

Hailing the country for its cuture of peace, the King said, "Our nation has always been in peace for very long time because there is unity in our nation..Each of us performs our duties in a harmonious manner for the sake of our country."

"Every Thai should realize this, and perform their given duties to benefit the broader public," he urged the citizens.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is also known as Rama IX has been reigning since 9 June 1946, and hence is the world`s longest-serving current head of state along with being the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.

The King, who is revered as a moral authority and a unifying figure in Thailand, holds a special place in hearts of the citizens and hence the protesters agreed to avoid any violence on this day as a mark of respect.

Interestingly, the same protesters who were just days ago seen pelting stones at security men triggering violent clashes, were now busy cleaning the streets shoulder-to-shoulder with the government forces.

According to local media reports, people had queued up near one of the palaces of the King.

Special trains and buses have been organised to escort scores of people to the town of Hua Hin, near the king`s Klai Kangwon palace, said the BBC citing the Bangkok Post reports.

The King would be addressing the nation later in the day which would be marked by festivities.

However, this peaceful episode in Thailand is not expected tolast long as the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban reportedly said that the demonstrations would begin afresh after the King`s Birthday.

Thai protesters have been protesting for a week now, with the demonstrations taking an ugly violent streak when people tried to barge in the Government House on Sunday and Monday triggering clashes between anti-govt protesters and the security men, who fired tear gases and water cannons at the rock-hurling protesters.

Wanting to topple the Yingluck Shinawatra government, Thai protesters have been alleging that the current government is being run as a puppet regime by PM`s brother Thaksin Shinawatra.

The demonstrators want to replace Yingluck`s government with an unelected "people`s council.

Thaksin was ousted in 2006 in a coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power.

Four people have been dead in the recent demonstrations Thailand, which are the biggest protests since 2010 when 90 people had been dead.

At least four people have died since Saturday, in what has been Thailand`s worst political turmoil since the 2010 rallies that ended in violence.