Supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) gathered today in Bangkok to remember those who died and who were injured during disturbances on October 7, 2008. Supporters of PAD are known as the yellow shirts and last year they occupied the grounds of Government House in Bangkok for a number of weeks, increasing the pressure on the then government. Their actions culminated in a mass protest on October 7, 2008, which turned violent when police and yellow shirts clashed. Two yellow shirt supporters died, dozens were injured and the police and government drew criticism for the way they handled the situation. The yellow shirts continued their protests in Bangkok, notably at the airports, and they were instrumental in bringing down the former pro-Thaksin government.
Today, an estimated 5,000 PAD supporters dressed in black to remember those who died and were injured during last year’s trouble. The gathering took place at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok where food was offered to monks in a merit-making ceremony. Amongst those attending today, were Sondhi Limthongkul who was a prominent figure during last year’s protests and who yesterday was nominated as the leader of the New Politics Party which was formed specifically to represent the yellow shirts and PAD. Sondhi has had an eventful few months to say the least. In April this year he narrowly escaped death when gunmen attacked his car in a dramatic pre-dawn assault. More recently, the outspoken media tycoon has been found guilty on libel charges and faces the prospect of a prison sentence. Sondhi has already lost one appeal, but remains free until the Supreme Court give the final verdict.