Several thousand Thai students met at Thammascat University in Bangkok on Saturday (28 December) to protest at the return to the country of former military ruler Thanom Kittikachorn.
GV Students arrive at rally
GV Crowd listen to speech (2 shots)
LV ZOOM OUT Crowds listening to student leader
SV Buddhist priests listening
GV Crowd applaud
GV Crowd listening (3 shots)
GV PAN Speaker finishes address and crowd applaud
Initials CL/0003 CL/0013
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Background: Several thousand Thai students met at Thammascat University in Bangkok on Saturday (28 December) to protest at the return to the country of former military ruler Thanom Kittikachorn.
Marshal Thanom had returned to Thailand from his exile in the United States to visit his 89-year-old father who was seriously ill.
He was banished from the country 14 months ago following harsh repression of mass demonstrations in October 1973 which led to the downfall of his government.
The students gathered to hear speeches from their leaders demanding the Marshal's arrest or expulsion. Before the demonstration some of the students had apparently been fired upon by a rival student group student group. No-one was hurt and it was later established the attack had been launched with blank cartridges in the rifles.
The students' action was successful the next day the Marshal -- accompanied by his wife and father -- flew out to Singapore. The Thai government was apparently alarmed at the effect his presence in the country might have on the elections under a new democratic constitution scheduled for next month.
SYNOPSIS: The students objected to his presence in the country because he was responsible for the harsh and bloody suppression of mass demonstrations which led to his government's downfall in October, 1973.
Earlier, a number of students had apparently been fired upon by a rival student group, but it turned out they had been using blank
The government -- which feared disruptions to next month's elections if Marshal Thanom were allowed to stay -- sent him and his father to Singapore the next day.