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Demonstrations in Bangkok

Four thousand extra police officers are guarding key buildings in Bangkok, including the parliament and the prime minister’s office compound according to spokesman for the Centre of Administration of peace and order. The government has taken these security measures in anticipation of violence that could come about due new rallies by groups of protesters who say a government backed bill would give amnesty to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The measures include the roads surrounding parliament being closed off. This came about after the government invoked a special security law, effective from the 1st to the 10th of August, in three Bangkok districts to prevent violence related demonstrations.

On Sunday night at Lumpini Park several thousand people turned out to protest against Mr Thaksin and the amnesty bill that they fear would pave the way for his return. The bill would exonerate protesters arrested for political activities since the 2006 military coup until May last year. The bill was introduced by a lawmaker from the ruling Pheu Thai party, lead by Thaksin’s sister Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The protesters fear this could open the way for his return and ultimately bring him back to power.

To avoid jail terms for charges against him that include disrespect to the monarchy and corruption Thaksin has been living overseas.

So far the protests have been low key, however more people are expected to join them once parliament begins its debate on the bill on Wednesday.

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