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.


  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.