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article imageRed Shirts are poised to bring down Thai government on Sunday

By R. C. Camphausen     Mar 13, 2010 in Politics
It is the stated aim of Thailand's opposition - the so-called Red Shirts - to force the present government to resign by way of a massive protest on Sunday in Bangkok, the countries capital.
Clad in red shirts, supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra have reached the capital Krung Thep (Bangkok) where they have gathered at Phan Fa bridge since Friday and Saturday, preparing for a massive anti-government rally that is planned for Sunday.
While police officials said on Saturday that there are a mere 12,000 protesters yet at the meeting point, the Bangkok Post also writes that at least 7,000 vehicles with about 50,000 protesters have passed checkpoints surrounding the capital. Together, these numbers add up to more than 60,000 which will probably face 40 to 50,000 security forces readied in case that violence should break out.
However, the red shirt movement led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), has promised a completely peaceful demonstration, meant to be different from the protest in April 2009, which did turn violent at some point; although a mere two deaths and a few dozen people injured is a far cry from what often happens in less peaceful nations and those with lesser democratic standards.
This time, once more, the protesters want the current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the Parliament, because the current government is regarded by a majority of the population as favoring interests of the elite rather than the people outside the urban sprawl - the farmers and others who have preferred the previous government under Thaksin Shinawatra. He is often called a populist and had to flee the country on charges for alleged corruption, but right now he is using the Internet from his hide-out in Dubai to urge his followers on.
Meanwhile, according to Global Voices, the city lives in a state of heightened tension and an almost panic in the city. It seems that residents are withdrawing money from the banks, buying gold bars because they do not trust the future. On the other hand, as reported by the BBC, protest leaders believe that the government is playing up the threat of violence simply in order to justify a possible crackdown.
More about Anti-government rally, Thaksin shinawatra, Bangkok, Twitter, Dubai
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