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Thailand’s premier calls for peace on a tumultuous weekend

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‘Please don’t hurt each other,’ Abhisit Vejjajiva says in a nationwide address after a protest in Bangkok and a clash on the Cambodian border. Meanwhile, King Bhumibol is hospitalized for fatigue.

Reporting from Bangkok, Thailand – A bloody clash at an ancient Hindu temple on the Cambodian border. Security forces deployed in the capital to quell tens of thousands of anti-government protesters. A popular former prime minister calling his country a “dictatorship.” And a beloved 81-year-old monarch hospitalized for the second time in four days.

These are some of the scenes from a tumultuous weekend in Thailand, prompting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call for peace and lament his nation’s image in the world.

“We can express different opinions, but please don’t hurt each other,” Abhisit said today in an address to the nation.

Abhisit, a 39-year-old Britain-born economist, heads a fragile coalition government that came to power last year after two of his predecessors were ousted. His Democrat Party came in third in the last elections but is expected to ride encouraging economic numbers in a strong run to national polls in 2010.

But divisions in the country run deep.

(Los Angeles Times)

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