Thai protest leader wounded


The founder of Thailand’s “yellow shirt” protest movement, which was behind the weeklong occupation of Bangkok’s main airports late last year, was shot and wounded early today, a spokesman said.

A doctor at Vajira Hospital in Bangkok told reporters that Sondhi Limthongkul was undergoing surgery.

Sondhi’s car was attacked at a gas station near the country’s central bank about 5 a.m., a spokesman for his People’s Alliance for Democracy said.

His movement was not part of the latest political violence in Thailand, which involved counter-protesters who are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives in self-imposed exile. His supporters distinguish themselves by wearing red shirts.


The protests ended Tuesday when the red shirts, who had been occupying the grounds of Government House, surrendered to hundreds of troops surrounding the building, the main office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Sondhi’s group of royalists, academics, former military people and Bangkok’s middle-class residents united in their loathing of Thaksin, a former telecommunications billionaire who draws his support from the rural poor.

Sondhi founded the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, in 2005 after falling out with Thaksin, a former business associate.

PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongpan said a driver and bodyguard in Sondhi’s car were also wounded, the driver seriously.


He said the attack was carried out by two men in a vehicle who shot out the tires of Sondhi’s car and then riddled it with bullets.