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Filipino Trump protesters burn US flag

dpa logodpa 20/01/2017

Old Glory is looking a little less glorious in the Philippines, where protesters screamed 'dump Trump' and burned the United States flag.

Groups of demonstrators took to the streets in cities around the world on Friday to both lament and celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president.

About 200 members of activist groups gathered at nine different bridges along the River Thames in London in the morning to drop banners with messages including "Build bridges not walls," and "United against Islamophobia."

In Manila, hundreds of protesters led by left-wing activists marched to the US embassy to urge President Rodrigo Duterte to be wary of Trump and to maintain an independent foreign policy in relation to the US.

Chanting "Dump Trump," the protesters burned a US flag near the embassy and also demanded the pull-out of US troops and facilities in the Philippines.

Earlier in Sri Lanka, a small but vociferous group gathered outside the US embassy, carrying placards and chanting slogans denouncing Trump's comments on issues including the environment, war and immigrants.

"We are showing our solidarity with all the people throughout the world who are taking part in protests against president-elect Trump," Siritunga Jayasuriya, leader of the United Socialist Party, said.

Police stepped up security outside the embassy in Colombo as less than 100 people from political parties, civil rights and labour organisations protested for more than an hour.

However, there were others who welcomed Trump, with one of Sri Lanka's Buddhist organisations placing a full-page newspaper advertisement wishing him long life.

A Hindu right-wing group said earlier in the week it was ready to celebrate Trump's "coronation" on Friday, calling him the "King Of the World."

Members of the Hindu Sena or army in India put a garland on a cut-out of Donald Trump and daubed its forehead with a red mark or tika for good luck.

In Budapest, supporters of Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban planned a street party for Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday afternoon.

Five people, including Zsolt Bayer, a writer prominent due to his targeting of Roma and migrants, were due to address the event dubbed the "inauguration party for a better world order."

The only EU leader who voiced support for Trump's migration policies, Orban has placed Hungary at the forefront of the strongly anti-immigration wing of Europe during the 2015-16 migration crisis.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International released a statement as Trump prepared to enter the White House, warning that his presidency could mark a major roll-back on hard-fought freedoms both in the USA and across the world.

"It is up to each one of us to fight President Trump's spiteful rhetoric of discrimination, hate and xenophobia," the NGO's secretary general Salil Shetty said.

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