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Thousands rally to give peace a chance

Thousands rally to give peace a chance
'Stop hurting Thailand' push gains support
Published: 5/05/2009 at 12:00 AM by Bangkok Post

Thousands of professional media organisations, government agencies, the military, civic groups and business people have joined the Stop hurting Thailand campaign, urging political groups to end bickering that is causing social divisions.
The campaign was initiated by 21 organisations including the Thai Journalists Association, the King Prajadhipok Institute and peace advocacy groups. The 21 organisations yesterday led a crowd of peace advocates dressed in white in a parade from King Rama VI statue in front of Lumpini Park along Silom Road to Bangkok Bank's headquarters.
Joining the parade were Borwornsak Uwanno, secretary general of the King Prajadhipok Institute, and his deputy Wuthisarn Tanchai, Prime Minister's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey, Senate Speaker Prasopsuk Boonyadet, TJA president Prasong Lertratanawisut and singer Add Carabao.Bangkok Bank president Chartsiri Sophonpanich joined the crowd when the parade reached his bank's headquarters.
TJA secretary general Pradit Ruangdit read a campaign statement asking all political groups to end their incitement of violent clashes between different groups and stop insulting the monarchy or claiming connections to the monarchy for political reasons.
The statement called for government authorities to act in an open and sincere manner while urging journalists to stringently adhere to their codes of ethics and abstain from exploiting their media outlets for political purposes.
It urged the public to support the campaign by raising the national flag in front of their homes. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and civic authorities in other provinces also held activities to promote the Stop hurting Thailand campaign.
In Bangkok, the BMA backed the campaign at City Hall and its branch office in Din Daeng, and at the 50 district offices.
The armed forces also joined the campaign. At army headquarters, about 2,000 officers led by Lt-Gen Sant Jariyajirawattana of the Office of the Commander paraded with national flags.
About 1,000 marines from the Royal Thai Marine Corps lined up along a 2km stretch of Sukhumvit Road, in Chon Buri province, in front of their headquarters to show their support for the campaign.

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