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Thaksin's supporters start gathering in Bangkok
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13:23, July 31, 2009

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The United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) have begun gathering at Sanam Luang in the center of Thailand's capital Bangkok from Friday morning in a move to support a royal pardon to be sought for ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The UDD group, also known as the red-shirted people, plans to officially stage a mass rally starting from 12.00 a.m., local time, in order to wrap up a signature campaign to support their royal pardon petition for Thaksin.

The UDD people plan to submit the pardon petition with at least a million names of Thais for Thaksin to the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary, probably on Aug. 7.

Pol Lt-Ben Worapong Chiewpreecha, the metropolitan police commander disclosed that some 600 policemen will be deployed to ensure law and order at Sanam Luang, or the royal field square, Thai language news agency INN reported.

Over 150 policemen will be responsible for traffic control around the royal field square, he said.

Moreover, some 1,050 more policemen will be on standby near Sanam Luang for any potential chaos, the metropolitan police commander said.

Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September, 2006, in accusation of corruption, and kept in exile since then. Thaksin returned to Thailand in February, 2008 to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again.

Source: Xinhua

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