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Bangkok residents sweep away remnants of riots

[ 2010-05-24 11:29]     字号 [] [] []  
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Thai authorities launched a massive clean-up operation in Bangkok's charred commercial district on Sunday as the city prepared for the resumption of business after one of the worst riots in modern history.

Financial markets, government offices and schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday.

Thousands of residents, angered by the riots that devastated their city, on Sunday scratched off anti-government posters and swept away tons of rubbish.

"I think the 'red shirts' are not Thai people because they destroyed things, they destroyed Bangkok, they destroyed Thailand," said dress shop owner Kasana Opasthanakoon, as he inspected the destruction. "My friends have shops here, destroyed, they have nothing."

The opposition group, drawn from rural masses and the urban poor, are demanding new elections, saying they have been disenfranchised by a Bangkok elite backed by the military.

They have said they will resume protests next month.

At the charred protest site in Bangkok's Rachaprasong district the "red shirts" had occupied, thousands of Bangkok residents armed with straw brooms, plastic gloves, garbage bags and face masks, poured in after the army declared it safe.

"We love Thailand, we love Bangkok. We will try to take back our city today," said teacher Tor as she led a group of students.

Teenage girls from one of the city's most prestigous schools marched into the once-deadly no man's land, carrying a sign "Students Lets Clean Project," decorated with pink hearts.

"It's very upsetting, it was a nightmare in Bangkok," said one of the students from Triam Udom Suksa school. "I am sad but we will bring it back to life."

At least 54 people have been killed and over 400 injured in the violence since May 14. Almost 40 major buildings in the city were set on fire and the tourism and retail industries have been devastated.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Bangkok residents sweep away remnants of riots

Bangkok residents sweep away remnants of riots

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.