Uneasy truce prevails in Thailand before King`s birthday

The political confrontation went on a pause mode as a sign of respect to the King Bhumibol Adulyadej whose birthday will be celebrated tomorrow.

PTI| Updated: Dec 04, 2013, 12:07 PM IST

Bangkok: Anti-government protesters rallied at Thailand`s national police headquarters today and vowed to continue their fight to topple Premier Yingluck Shinawatra`s government despite an uneasy truce before a national holiday marking the 86th birthday of the country`s revered monarch.

In a dramatic turn of events, demonstrators at Yingluck`s main offices at Government House were met with handshakes and applause from riot police instead of tear gas and water cannon.

The political confrontation went on a pause mode as a sign of respect to the King Bhumibol Adulyadej whose birthday will be celebrated tomorrow.

After days of violence, protesters demanding the resignation of Yingluck were allowed to stage a demonstration inside government headquarters yesterday but the main opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban said the campaign would continue.

He said there would be a pause in protests tomorrow out of respect for King.
Suthep also said he wants to invoke Section 7 of the Thai Constitution, which would lead to the installation of a royally-appointed prime minister, Nation newspaper said today.

His controversial idea of people`s council has already taken heavy flak from the government, which has called it unconstitutional.

In a televised statement, Prime Minister Yingluck asked all Thais to unite to show their love for the King, who will turn 86.

Yingluck said disagreements continued but she wanted to see all Thais, including the protesters, begin talks to try to provide real solutions.

"I would like to invite all Thais including academics, businessmen, protesters, and experts from all sectors to join the open forum to find solutions for political reform," she said.

Referring to yesterday`s events, she said police guarding two key strongholds - Government House and the Metropolitan Police Bureau - simply stopped their resistance against protesters attempting to breach barricades.