100,000 Thais rally against king's adviser

About 100,000 protesters seeking to topple Thailand's government turned their wrath on the 88-year-old top adviser to the country's revered king, accusing him of undermining democracy by orchestrating a pivotal 2006 coup. Most of the protesters massed Wednesday near the Bangkok residence of privy councilor Prem Tinsulanonda to demand he step down from his palace job for allegedly engineering the military's ouster of their hero, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. They also demanded that current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva quit his post. Red-shirted protesters clapped and cheered as their leaders delivered fiery speeches to denounce Prem, a former army commander and prime minister, and to accuse the country's military, judiciary and other unelected officials of interfering in politics. "Stop pulling strings from behind the scenes for the benefit of a few people you support at the expense of the majority," shouted Jatuporn Phromphan, a protest leader. "We will not tolerate that!" Prem, who has denied any involvement in the coup, remained inside his home while police and soldiers stood guard in the streets and within the compound's walls.