Thai PM Announces Referendum for Constitutional Revisions

Thailand's prime minister says there will be a national referendum in April on whether to amend the constitution.

Responding to public discontent with his government, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on this weekly radio program Saturday that the referendum will be held simultaneously with the next Senate election on April 19th.

Critics of Thailand's constitution say it concentrates too much power in the hands of the ruling party.

Mr. Thaksin also defended his family's sale of its controlling interest in Shin Corporation for nearly two billion dollars, on which they paid no capital gains taxes. The sale has triggered massive demonstrations demanding Mr. Thaksin's resignation.

Opposition groups brought thousands to an anti-government rally near the royal palace in Bangkok for the second consecutive Saturday.