from Asia Unbound

Thailand Roiled by Violent Unrest and COVID-19 Decimation

Amid a COVID-19 surge, Thailand's escalating protests are getting more dangerous. 
People protest over Thai government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's resignation, in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 2, 2021.
People protest over Thai government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's resignation, in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 2, 2021. Chalinee Thirasupa/Reuters

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Southeast Asia

Thailand

COVID-19

In recent weeks, Thailand, like several other Southeast Asian countries, has erupted in increasingly ferocious street protests. Throughout August, thousands of Thais, including many young people, took to the streets to express their anger at the current government and demand changes at the top. Some younger, desperate and increasingly uncompromising demonstrators have started driving around in groups, battling police and destroying small police stations.

The demonstrations initially seemed to take the government, led by former coup leader and now Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, by surprise. But in recent weeks the situation has gotten far more dangerous. Thai police have resorted to force, beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets and water cannons at them. Some police may have used live ammunition, including at children protesting. For more on Thailand’s rising protests, see my new World Politics Review article.

More on:

Southeast Asia

Thailand

COVID-19