Red shirts rally in Bangkok

2009-09-20 08:44 BJT

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Supporters of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra have rallied in the country's capital, Bangkok.

The rally came on Saturday on the third anniversary of the coup that ousted Thaksin. It ended on Saturday evening with no reports of clashes.

Tens of thousands of protestors began the mass rally from Royal Plaza on Saturday afternoon.

Carrying pictures of Thaksin, the red-shirted protestors demanded the current coalition government dissolve the House of representatives and hold new general elections.

Jatuporn Prompan, Leader of United Front for Democrace against Dictatorship, said, "Today's activity is only a peaceful rally without any weapons at the Royal Plaza. We are exercising our rights according to the constitution."

Thaksin was removed from office three years ago while attending the UN General Assembly in New York. He returned to Thailand in February last year to face corruption charges. He later fled the country and was convicted in absentia.

The exiled leader addressed his supporters via a video link on Saturday evening.

He claimed his family, red-shirted supporters and political parties supporting him had been treated unfairly. Thaksin also said Thailand's economy has suffered since he was toppled from office.