Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” rally in Bangkok to demand the judiciary to stay out of the country’s politics, saying they have returned to attend to unfinished business.
"Today, we mark the 80th anniversary and show our concern over threats to democracy,” AFP quoted Red Shirt leader Kokaew Pikulthong as saying on Sunday to the crowd, who had gathered in the Democracy Monument in the capital to mark the end of absolute monarchy in the country 80 years ago.
“Let's prepare for an unfinished fight," he said.
Thailand's current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of the exiled former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, has proposed changes to the country’s constitution as part of reconciliation plans to end a political crisis that has gripped the country since her brother was ousted by royalist generals who saw him as a threat to the monarchy.
The opposition groups, however, say the amendments and related amnesty moves are aimed at allowing the former premier to come back home. Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon, has been found guilty in the country of abuse of power and currently lives in Dubai to avoid a jail term on the back of the conviction.
Thailand's Constitutional Court is examining the government's amendments to the constitution, which was drafted by military government in 2007 after Thaksin was ousted in a coup in the previous year. A final decision is expected in July.
Rallies by the Red Shirts, many of them supporters of the former prime minister, and rival anti-Thaksin Yellow Shirts have frequently spilled over into violence.
In April and May 2010, more than 90 people died and almost 2,000 were injured during a protracted Red Shirt rally that was put down by the military.