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Pachyderm protesters banned in Bangkok Buddhist protest

TNA, July 4, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Bangkok's police chief has banned Buddhist protesters from bringing any kind of animal to join their renewed demonstration, scheduled for Friday at Parliament.

Speaking on the measure to control Buddhist monks and laypeople who are demanding that the new constitution officially recognise Buddhism as Thailand's official religion in the charter, Bangkok police chief Pol. Lt-Gen. Adisorn Nonsi said they are allowed to conduct a rally to express their opinion.

However, Gen. Adisorn said bringing any kind of animal to join the protest is prohibited as they can create turmoil in public places and can cause traffic congestion. The protesters are also banned from entering the Royal Plaza and the residence of Privy Council president Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda, a former prime minister and ex-army commander who has been targeted by some protesters..

The police will negotiate with the demonstrators about the police operation to ensure that the protest continues peacefully and does not cause trouble to the public.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks brought nine elephants to join their rally in April and it caused considerable traffic confusion at that time.


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