Friday 15 November 2019

'Red-shirt' protest marks anniversary

Panarat Thepgumpanat in Bangkok

At least 40,000 "red-shirt" protesters massed in Bangkok yesterday to mark the anniversary of a 10-week rally that plunged Thailand into prolonged violence and political chaos last year.

The protest was the biggest since clashes between troops and demonstrators in April and May that killed 91 people, wounded more than 1,800 and sparked widespread arson and rioting.

The red-shirts said they would continue their regular rallies, despite Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's announcement on Friday that an election -- their key demand last year -- would be held by the first week of July.

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled red-shirts' figurehead who was ousted in a 2006 coup and sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for bribery, said the election would be a test of Thai democracy. The red shirts say justice remains elusive and they will continue their campaign.

Sunday Independent

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