Dec. 5 (UPI)-- In the wake of weeks of protests in Bangkok, Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, celebrating his 86th birthday, urged his countrymen to unite for the broader good during a birthday speech delivered earlier today.
The king reminded his country that "Our nation has always been in peace for a very long time because there is unity in our nation... Each of us performs our duties in a harmonious manner for the sake of our country. Every Thai should realize this, and perform their given duties to benefit the broader public."
Pleas for unity come during a days-long truce was announced in honor of the revered king's birthday. The temporary calm follows a weekend of violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and pro-government supporters. Anti-government protests, led by the opposition Democrat Party, have been on-going for several weeks. Protestors are calling for the removal of the prime minister, whom they accuse of acting on behalf of her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Protests were mostly peaceful until this past weekend, when a gun fight erupted between demonstrators and pro-government supporters.