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Whistle blowers could return to Silom on Wednesday if the government does not end its support for the controversial amnesty bill recently passed by parliament.
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This scene is likely to be repeated tomorrow as organisers say they will hold a second Silom anti-amnesty rally unless the government, unexpectedly, backs down. PATTARACHAI PRECHAPANICH
Second Silom rally set for Wednesday
A very young whistle-blower at Silom yesterday. THANARAK KHOONTON
In a TV interview Somkiat Homla-or, leader of the Green Silom Business Group, one of the organisers of yesterday's rally opposing the blanket amnesty bill, said he had expected about 2,000 - 3,000 people to attend the noon event on Silom road.
Instead, depending on who's counting, he got 8,000, 10,000 or even 20,000, far exceeding expectations.
The road from Sala Daeng intersection down to the head office of Bangkok Bank was filled with whistle blowers, who noisily announced their opposition to the bill at 12.34pm.
Thousands of workers poured out of offices, joined by men and women on the street, and gathered in protest against the bill. Whistles were distributed to all participants, many of them waving the national flag, during the short rally.
They deemed the amnesty bill an attempt to whitewash cases involving offences by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his cabinet members, among other things.
Now the organisers want to try again. They say they are planning to return to the street for another one-minute whistle-blowing campaign on Wednesday if the government refuses to drop the amnesty bill.
Mr Somkiat said the amended bill was unacceptable as it interferes with the judicial process and encourages corruption.
Democrat leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva makes an appearance at the Silom rally. THANARAK KHOONTON
Adapted from a story by Penchan Charoensuthipan and Manop Thip-osod in today's Bangkok Post.
Learn from listening
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amend: to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย
amnesty: a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
back down: to take back or remove a demand, an opinion, a planned action etc. that other people are strongly opposed to - ยอมตาม
bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
blanket: affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง
cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์
deemed: considered - เห็นว่า ถือว่า
depend on: according to; affected by things that happen - ขึ้นอยู่กับ
distribute: to give something out to many different places - แจกจ่าย
encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
exceed: to be more than something; to go beyond a limit - เกินกว่าที่กำหนด
expectations: what is expected - ที่คาดไว้
gather: to come together in a group - รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม
interfere: to deliberately become involved in a situation and try to influence the way that it develops, although you have no right to do this - แทรกแซง
intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
interview: a meeting (often a public one) at which a journalist asks somebody questions in order to find out their opinions, experiences, etc. - การสัมภาษณ์
judicial process: the actions taken, usually in court, to settle a legal matter - การดำเนินการคดี
offence: a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
participant: someone who takes part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
protest: a strong complaint or disagreement - การประท้วง
rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
unacceptable: that you cannot accept, allow or approve of - ซึ่งไม่สามารถยอมรับได้
unexpectedly: in a surprising way because you were not expecting it - อย่างไม่คาดฝัน, อย่างน่าประหลาดใจ
whistle: a small metal or plastic tube that you blow to make a loud high sound, used to attract attention or as a signal - นกหวีด
whitewash: to try to stop people from discovering the true facts about something, in order to prevent someone in authority from being criticised - ปกปิดสิ่งไม่ดี