Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai police fire tear gas at protesters

Thai police fire tear gas at protesters

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thai police fire tear gas rounds at pro-democracy protesters during a demonstration demanding political reform and calling for a change to the country’s coronavirus vaccination programme in Bangkok on Saturday. AFP

Thai police fire tear gas at protesters

Thai police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on August 7 at hundreds of protesters in Bangkok demanding political reform and calling for a change to the country’s coronavirus vaccination programme.

Demonstrators defied restrictions on public gatherings introduced as Thailand battles its worst outbreak of the virus to call for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to quit.

The Thai government has come under fire for the sluggish rollout of its Covid vaccination programme, and the protesters also demanded it start using mRNA shots such as Pfizer and Moderna, rather than China’s Sinovac.

The 500 or so protesters were vastly outnumbered by police, who said on August 6 they planned to deploy nearly 6,000 officers to tackle the rally.

“I’m worried about the situation but we will have to continue fighting despite the severe Covid outbreak,” 27-year-old protester Nat, who only gave one name, told AFP.

In the southern province of Narathiwat, dozens of people also protested. Riding motorbikes, they held up signs and made the three-finger salute, a sign of resistance.

A youth-led street protest movement for democracy rose up last year and at its peak drew tens of thousands to rallies in Bangkok.

The demonstrators called for the resignation of Prayut, the former army chief who came to power in a 2014 coup, as well as changes to the military-scripted constitution.

But the most shocking calls were for changes to the monarchy – a long-revered institution in Thailand protected by some of the world’s toughest lese majeste laws.

A Covid spike and the arrest of key leaders saw the protests peter out over the new year and they have struggled to regain the momentum of 2020.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • No more Africa travel ban but new rules for arrivals

    The Ministry of Health has decided to lift the ban on travellers from or who have travelled through 10 African countries and instead issued a set of standard operating procedures to manage passenger arrivals at Cambodia’s international airports. The 10 African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho,