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4,000 yellow-shirts protest along Thai-Combodian border

ABOUT 4,000 supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) late morning today headed for Preah Vihear national park to protest there before they were blocked halfway by about 1,000 policemen, Thai media reported.

The PAD protestors set deadline for the police to step out of their way by 1 pm after they were stopped at Phumisarol village of Si Sa Ket province. They threatened the use of force to break to the police lines to go to Pha Mor I-Daeng in the national park as planned, according to Bangkok Post online.

The yellow-shirted royalists plan to protest today at the disputed area near the Thai-Combodian border to demand the government push the alleged intruders out.

Veera Somkwamkid, a core leader of PAD, said he plans to lead the protestors to Pha Mor I-Daeng to read out PAD statement demanding the Cambodian villagers and troops to move out of Thailand's territory.

In a petition they filed to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), the yellow-shirts claimed the governments allowed Cambodian troops and people to encroach on an area of over3,000 rai (about 4,800,000 square metres) around the Preah Vihear temple, a UNESCO world heritage site.

About 1,000 policemen had set up check-point at a school in Phumisarol village of Kanthararak district to prevent PAD supporters from entering the national park.

Meanwhile, 500 local villagers gathered at the village school to rally against PAD. They called on PAD leaders not to create violence in Si Sa Ket province.

The yellow-shirts' border-area protest came the same day with amass anti-government rally in Bangkok by red-shirts, or supporters of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), which is forecast to attract about 30,000 protestors.

The international court ruled the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia more than 40 years ago, but border dispute over areas around the temple has remained a fuse in the two countries' relationship.

The Thai-Cambodian border has never been fully demarcated, in part because the border is littered with landmines left during the Indochina war between 1960s and 1970s.


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