BANGKOK -- Thai security forces are preparing extensive measures to cope with a mass protest scheduled this week which they fear could turn violent, officials said.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told reporters Monday that while the government intends to show patience with protesters preparing to gather Thursday, any actions that break the law would not be tolerated, the Bangkok Post reported.
Backers of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, who support ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, say they plan to march from Sanam Luang to Government House in Bangkok to demand the resignation of the government of current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Suthep criticized a plan to have Thaksin, who is living in exile, to address the rally via a phone-in, saying the sole purpose of the move was to stir up resentment against the government, the Post said.
Bangkok Police Chief Worapong Chewpreecha told reporters that 22 police companies and 6,000 soldiers would be deployed Thursday.
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