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About one thousand members of Thailand's Red Shirt movement have assembled around the Democracy Monument in Bangkok to commemorate 80 years of democracy in the country. It’s said to be aiming at allowing exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return home. Thai authorities have deployed police officers to maintain law and order.
Brother and sister reunited on the streets of Bangkok. Images of Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck head columns of red shirts as they descend up the Thai capitals Democracy Monument.
The carnival atmosphere returns too. Musicians playing in the streets as protesters in fancy dress danced….and others arrived from all over Thailand. But they have come to make a serious point. Sunday marks the eightieth anniversary of Thailand’s move from an Absolute Monarchy to a constitutional one… And the protest leaders think that modern Thailand should learn some lessons from the past.
The protest leaders are gathering signatures for a petition…they claim they already have 100,000…calling for the judges of the constitutional court to resign. The court recently blocked changes to the constitution…that could have opened up an avenue for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return to the country.
For tourists heading to Bangkok’s famous Khao San road, it was all a bit confusing… And while things remained good natured, memories of the bloody crackdown 2 years ago are still fresh. The guns here are toys…but everyone remembers when they were real.
The Police presence was low key and muted….riot shields, but clearly no intention to use them. Police intelligence is expecting fifty thousand protesters, but unlike previous rallies, they think the reds will be quick to disperse.
And the crowds continued to gather at Democracy monument, built to commemorate that revolution eighty years ago. Ironically the four wings on the monument represent the armed forces, protecting the Thai Constitution.
It’s unlikely the Red Shirts would see the army as guardians of Democracy today.
|Thai red-shirt supporters hold pictures of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and|
her brother Thaksin.
|Thai red-shirt supporters.|