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Thai leader issues plea to end protests after opposition calls for 3-day general strike

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has issued a plea to protesters to end their street demonstrations after opposition leaders called for a three-day general strike starting Wednesday.

It remained unclear Tuesday whether the calls for a general strike would be followed. But Yingluck's plea indicated the government's concern after weeks of protests that threatened to end two years of relative political calm since she took office.

"I would like to ask the people to call off the protests," Yingluck said. "I am pleading for (protesters) to have patience."

The protests were triggered by an amnesty bill rejected by the Senate on Monday that would have included ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's brother. The opposition now has shifted its target to a wider campaign to bring down the government.