Saturday, March 3, 2012

Anti-Thaksin protesters denounce Thai constitution plans

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Demonstrators gathered in a central Bangkok park on Friday to protest at the Thai government's plan to amend the constitution, which critics say is a ruse to allow ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return from exile.
Thailand has gone through bouts of violent political unrest since Thaksin was toppled in a coup in 2006 and the moves to change the constitution threaten to raise the temperature again after a period of calm since his sister, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, became prime minister after a general election last July.

The protest was organised by the royalist Siam Samakkhi (United Siam) group, which is also concerned the government might try to amend lese-majeste laws that impose hefty prison sentences on people found guilty of insulting the king. The government denies it has any such intention.
'Yingluck is definitely changing the constitution to benefit her brother but when the media asks her, she denies this,' said Mr Pranon Tawamongkol, 62, one of about 1,500 people who gathered to listen to speeches in Lumpini Park in the early evening.

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