Thai army intervention law force Thaksin supporters to delay rally
"Red shirt" supporters of ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra have postponed Sunday's planned rally because of a tight security law passed this week.
"Red shirt" supporters of ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra have postponed Sunday's planned rally outside the office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva because of a tight security law passed this week.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) said it would hold the rally on Sept. 5, four days after the new law expires, instead.
The law passed on Tuesday allows the military to act fast if protests turn violent, without declaring a state of emergency. At least 5,000 troops were on standby ahead of the rally.
"If they extend the law, we'll postpone our rally again. But our deadline is Sept. 19," said Nattawut Saikeau, a core UDD leader.
The prospect of more demonstrations will add to fears of an escalation in Thailand's four-year political crisis, and may dent the confidence of investors and tourists, hampering Abhisit's efforts to revive the economy.
Abhisit told reporters the security law would remain effective until Tuesday, and the government would discuss what to do with it at a cabinet meeting the same day.
The UDD, which has held four big rallies since the riots, has submitted a petition with 3.5 million signatures seeking a royal pardon for Thaksin, who skipped bail in October before getting a two-year prison sentence for graft.
Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup and living in exile, mostly in the United Arab Emirates, says he is innocent and that his conviction was politically motivated.
Reuters Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2009, 15:59