Thousands of anti-coup protesters descend on Bangkok


Photo: Prachatai.com

Thousands of anti-coup protesters descend on Bangkok
Posted: 04 June 2007 0401 hrs

BANGKOK : Thousands of anti-coup demonstrators descended on
Bangkok on Sunday to urge a return to democracy, police and organisers
said, a day after a similar rally drew record numbers.

The protesters, sporting yellow banners around their heads reading
“junta get out” and waving flags bearing similar slogans, gathered in a
rainy Sanam Luang plaza in central Bangkok to demand an end to the
military-installed government.

“We plan daily demonstrations until at least the 24th of June,”
said Nattawut Saikuar, a rally organiser and supporter of ex-premier
Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in the coup last September.

Organisers at Sunday’s rally claimed that up to 10,000 people
turned out to demonstrate in a water-logged Sanam Luang, while police
estimated a crowd of about 5,000.

On Saturday night, at least 6,000 people gathered in the plaza,
apparently spurred on by a tribunal ruling on Wednesday that dissolved
Thai Rak Thai (TRT), the twice-elected political party formed by
Thaksin.

It was biggest display of defiance against the military-installed
government since last year’s coup, and Nattawut said it had prompted
the rally organisers to change their name from “People’s Television” to
the “Democracy Alliance to Expel Dictatorship.”

“It was the first time we opened it up for the general public who
are against the dictatorship, and there was a good response,” said
Nattawut, who said that 10,000 people had joined Saturday’s rally.

“They filled half of Sanam Luang – when we fill Sanam Luang, we
will move to seek an answer from the junta leaders,” he declared.

On Wednesday, Thailand’s Constitutional Tribunal disbanded TRT and
barred the ousted premier and 110 senior party leaders from politics
for five years after it found the party guilty of election law
violations.

The senior judges cleared TRT’s main rivals the Democrat Party of
similar charges, rankling many of Thaksin’s supporters. – AFP/d

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Last Updated 04/06/2007, 08:31:33
News Image
Thousands of protestors in Bangkok
have called for a return to democracy.
[Reuters file photo]

Pro-democracy protestors rally in Bangkok

Police say at least 1400 anti-coup demonstrators have descended on Bangkok to call for a return to democracy.

The protesters, wore yellow banners around their heads, which read ‘junta get out’ and waved flags with similar slogans.

Nattawut Saikuar, a rally organiser and supporter of former Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in the coup last September, says
they will plan daily demonstrations until at least June 24.

On Saturday night, at least 6,000 people also gathered in central Bangkok
in the biggest display of defiance against the military since last
year’s coup.

A court ruling last week dissolved Thai Rak Thai, the twice-elected political party formed by Mr Thaksin.


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