|Muslims Rally at US Mission in Chiang Mai|
|Written by Editor3|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 06:48|
ASEAN-NEWS, THAILAND - About 30 Muslims gathered outside the United States consulate-general's office in Chiang Mai yesterday to protest against the controversial anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.
Chiang Mai Islamic Committee adviser Mustafa Hassan, who led the group, read out a statement denouncing the two-hour US-made movie which has sparked violence and protests in about 20 countries.
The statement was subsequently handed over to a representative of the US consulate-general. It was issued in the name of the Chiang Mai Islamic Committee and other Islamic committees of the northern provinces.
About 20 police were deployed to maintain peace and order at the venue. The protest proceeded without incident.
On Tuesday about 500 Muslims rallied in front of the US embassy in Bangkok in a peaceful protest against the film.
In response to growing protests over the film, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she has ordered police to step up security at protest sites.
She also called on protesters to refrain from violence while noting that anti-American sentiments expressed at the protests were unlikely to affect Thai-US relations.
Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said the protests were symbolic and were unlikely to have led to trouble.
Tight security was also in place yesterday at Chiang Mai University's political science faculty where US ambassador Kristie Kenney spoke on the US election. The lecture passed without incident.
Meanwhile, Thailand will call on the international community to seek a solution to end violence which led to the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said this will be a major topic of discussion during the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
"Thailand doesn't want to see violence erupt and people attack each other. Many countries might raise this issue at the UN meeting," said the minister, who added that such violence would not happen in Thailand.
Christopher Stevens, the US envoy to Libya, and three other diplomatic staff were killed during violent protests sparked by the anti-Islam film which was made in the US.(AN-55/bangkokpost.com)