11/19/2010, 00.00
THAILAND
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Thai "red shirts" preparing a new wave of protests

A massive demonstration, involving over 10 thousand participants, organized for today in the commercial centre of the capital. The organizers promise that it will be peaceful, but it is against the law to gather in more than five hundred. May protests of resulted in 90 dead and two thousand injured.

Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police in Bangkok have started setting up roadblocks in the most important crossroads of the city's commercial district in preparation for a protest march of thousands of red shirts to be held in the evening. The protest aims to recall the violent demonstrations that took place six months ago, when following protests and severe repression by the police 90 people were killed.

Foreign embassies have warned their nationals to stay away from the area affected by the protest, since the police and organizers estimate marchers will number between 10 and 15 thousand. An implicit challenge to the decree that prohibits public gatherings of more than five hundred people.

The organizers have promised that the event will be peaceful and that the parade will disperse after three hours. Several hundred members of the United Front for Democracy against dictatorship, clothed in red and black, started a peaceful demonstration outside the prison where 19 of the movement's leader are inmates, on trial on charges of terrorism.

Anti-government protesters in favour of tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra first began in March 2010 and lasted about two months and paralyzing the financial district of the capital. The majority of participants, drawn from the poor and rural population, accuse the government of Abhisit Vejajiva of not helping them and having unconstitutionally removed Thaksin. The government finally approved army intervention. The urban warfare caused about 90 deaths and nearly two thousand injured.

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