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    UDD Holds Anti-Government Rally in Bangkok, Thailand


    by NTDTelevision

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    Thousands of protesters rally in Bangkok on Sunday. Wearing red shirts, they are protesting against the government and to demand the release of their leaders detained in last year's crackdown.

    Around 30,000 anti-government "red shirts" rallied in Thailand's capital on Sunday in another show of strength that heralds a rocky run-up to elections scheduled for this year.

    The red shirts are seeking the release of 19 United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders, who have spent the past eight months in detention on terrorism charges.

    [Thanaset Lerdkosaichawakul, Protestor]:
    "We did nothing wrong and we have assets to guarantee bail. We follow government rules but the government still does not want to release the leaders. I think it's double standards. It's not fair."

    The charges relate to last year's rioting and clashes that killed 91 people, wounded about 1,800 and damaged more than 30 commercial buildings.

    The mostly rural and urban working-class "red shirts" marched from the upmarket shopping district to the Democracy Monument in the city's old quarter.

    Protest leaders said they would disperse by midnight.

    It was the second big rally this month by the UDD against the government.

    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has promised an election sometime this year.