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A few but firm coup dissenters

india Updated: Sep 23, 2006 01:32 IST

ONE OF Thailand's military junta's first laws prohibited any political gathering of more than five people. On Friday evening, around 80 academics, students and social activists decided to defy this law, in the middle of an upmarket shopping centre, in the middle of rush hour, in the middle of the city that seemingly welcomed the ouster of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

There was no violence, probably because the authorities decided not to enforce the law. Instead, from a perch in the sky train station overlooking the demonstration, held on the steps of the Siam Paragon mall, a police posse merely videographed the hour-long proceedings.