News / Asia

Thai Court Imposes $17 Million Fine Against Protest Leaders

Anti-government protesters listen to the speech of a leader, unseen, during their protest at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 25, 2008
Anti-government protesters listen to the speech of a leader, unseen, during their protest at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 25, 2008

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Bangkok Correspondent Daniel Schearf on Thailand's current political climate

A court in Thailand has imposed a $17 million fine against nationalist protest leaders who occupied Bangkok’s airports in 2008. It is the first significant ruling against the leaders of the Yellow Shirts movement and comes as they are quarrelling with the current government.

Thailand’s Civil Court Friday ruled that 13 leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy must pay the airport authority over $17 million (522 million baht) for lost revenues from landing fees and other income.

The PAD, also known as the Yellow Shirts, occupied Bangkok’s main airports for a week in late November 2008 to force the government from power.

Authorities say they were forced to shut down Bangkok’s Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports.

Tens of thousands of people were left stranded, Thai businesses lost billions of dollars in revenue and the country’s tourist friendly image was damaged.

Chris Baker, an author and analyst on Thai politics, says Friday’s ruling against the PAD was unprecedented.

"Many people had feared that the PAD and the Yellow Shirts would never be brought to any kind of justice so, this ruling is quite a surprise in that sense.  Of course, it's not over yet because I'm sure there will be appeals and many attempts to block it. Still, just the ruling itself is quite phenomenal," he said.

The PAD ended the airport occupation after their demands were met by a court order that dissolved a government aligned with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The politically-charged ruling allowed the current government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to come to power.

Listen to an interview with Bangkok Correspondent Daniel Schearf on Thailand’s current political climate:


His Foreign Minister, Kasit Piromya, supported the occupation of the airports and the PAD was, until this year, considered a government backer.

But, the PAD turned against the government.  It staged ongoing street protests demanding it get tough with Cambodia over disputed border territory.  

Some PAD leaders are calling for boycotts of expected elections and for parliamentary democracy to be suspended.

There are still court cases pending against PAD leaders, including charges of terrorism for the airport takeover.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More