THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued Tuesday a travel advisory against going to Thailand on March 12 (Friday) amid looming anti-government protests in key points of capital Bangkok.

“Filipinos are advised to postpone all non-essential travel to Thailand, specifically Bangkok. Filipinos who are already in Thailand are advised to avoid areas that have been identified as meeting areas and staging areas for the rallyists,” the DFA said on its website.

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A report from Thai paper Bangkok Post said that around one million supporters of exiled leader Thaksin Shinawatra will hold a rally in a bid to call for a snap election.

The planned mass demonstration has raised fears of fresh violence in the streets of Bangkok, or at the least cause huge traffic jams.

In light of the massive protests, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday cancelled a planned trip to Australia and New Zealand from March 13 to 17 to personally handle the situation.

The red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) will converge in key areas of the capital starting on Friday in the run-up for the March 14 rally where Thaksin is expected to address his supporters in a video patch.

The protest was planned after the Supreme Court of Political Office Holders ruled on February 26 to seize between US$ 1.4 billion to 2.3 billion in frozen bank accounts belonging to Thaksin and his family.

The court said the ousted prime minister was guilty of concealing his stake in the family's business empire during his five-year reign, and of using his position to benefit that empire.

Reports said Thaksin has vowed to contest the ruling, but it is unclear what specific action he intends to take.

Thaksin was removed from power in September 2006 through a bloodless military coup on the allegations of corruption. He was now in self-exile after evading his two-year sentence for a separate graft case.

In November 2008, thousands of travelers including Filipinos were stranded at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport after protesters barricaded the airport in the foiled attempt to topple the government. Operations in the airport were paralyzed for weeks due to the protesters’ occupation. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)