Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  

'Dharma Army' keeps up vigil against Thai PM

Monks of the "Dharma Army" chanted prayers on Monday to greet what leaders of a campaign against Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra say is the start of round-the-clock protests to force him to quit.

But Thaksin repeated that his resignation would mean bowing to a small group of people, not the great majority who voted him into power, and he would not do it.

"You can't tell me to quit before you call off the rally, otherwise my resignation would mean the people's power in democracy means nothing," Thaksin told reporters in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

He was there campaigning for the April 2 snap election he called in a counter-attack against a campaign to oust him which took off after his relatives sold the business empire Thaksin founded for a tax-free $1.9 billion in January.

Demonstrators hold banners while protesting against Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at Saman Luang in Bangkok yesterday. Embattled Thai premier urged his rivals to agree to a compromise to end the nation's political turmoil as protesters called for civil disobedience to oust him. PHOTO: AFP