The Straits Times
Published on Nov 23, 2012

Thailand braces for large anti-government rally


BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand will deploy thousands of police officers and has invoked a special security law for an anti-government rally on Saturday that is expected to be the largest since Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took office last year and that officials fear could turn violent.

Authorities expect tens of thousands of protesters, a turnout that would serve as a sharp reminder of the deep political tensions in the country despite two years of relative calm.

The demonstration is being organised by a royalist group calling itself "Pitak Siam" - or "Protect Thailand" - at Bangkok's Royal Plaza, a public space near Parliament that has been used by protesters in the past.

Led by retired army General Boonlert Kaewprasit, the group accuses Ms Yingluck's government of corruption, ignoring insults to the revered monarchy and being a puppet of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, He is Ms Yingluck's brother and was ousted by a 2006 coup that sent the country into spasms of political upheaval.