Red shirts rally as Thai constitutional crisis looms


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The Independent Online

Thailand's "red shirts" turned out in force yesterday to warn that they will not stand by if the judiciary rejects a plan to amend the constitution – a rewrite that critics say is aimed at allowing the exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to come home.

The current Prime Minister is Mr Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra. Her administration, including leaders of the pro-Thaksin red-shirt movement, say the amendments and a related amnesty are part of reconciliation plans. The Constitutional Court is examining arguments that the amendments could threaten Thailand's constitutional monarchy. A final decision is expected next month and will determine whether the debate can go ahead in August.

Police said 35,000 red shirts were at Bangkok's Democracy Monument yesterday. In 2010, they occupied parts of the capital's commercial district for two months.