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Germans arrested for removing coronavirus barrier in Chiang Mai

Jack Burton

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PHOTOS: Chiang Mai News

A number of German expats have been arrested in Chiang Mai for allegedly trying to remove a community Covid-19 coronavirus barrier. The expats claim the barrier was blocking access to their home.

Locals, however disagreed, claiming the barrier was vital in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and filed a police report. The district headman claims the moving of their barrier was an illegal act and says the Germans should be prosecuted and fined. Chiang Mai Immigration was also called in to investigate the visa status of the Germans involved.

Chiang Mai One News claims it isn’t clear whether the barrier was completely preventing the Germans from accessing their properties. However from Chiang Mai News’s photo the barrier looks like it would stop a herd of stampeding elephants, let alone the German expats trying to get back to their property.

Germans arrested for removing coronavirus barrier in Chiang Mai | News by Thaiger

Chiang Mai One says it’s one thing to require a temperature check before being allowed to enter an area, but if these people were being denied access to the homes that would be another matter.

Xenophobia against foreigners, mainly ‘farang’ or caucasians, is popping up from time to time across Thailand where some Thais are blaming foreigners for the coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom, despite the disease originating in China. Thais, restricted to their homes and unable to work, are looking for someone to blame and becoming increasingly frustrated and distressed about the situation.

This week a Phuket-based Facebook page ‘Spotlight Thailand’, mostly an anti-corruption advocate, went full rogue when the owner of the page called on local Phuketians to grab slingshots and rocks to fire at “shit tourists” who were defying the curfew or not wearing face masks. The original post was followed up with pictures of ‘foreigners’ travelling around the island or visiting various locations in a ‘shame file’.

Whether intended as a joke or not, there were hundreds of vicious responses in the comments to the posts endorsing the post and showing photos of their slingshots at the ready.

“Get out from my country if you cannot stay at home. Shit tourist#”

At this stage there have been no cases of foreigners being hit by high-speed rocks and the offending Facebook page has been taken down, by Facebook.

The Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand has been economically ruinous to Thais and working expats, particularly in the country’s tourist areas which will one day hope for the foreigners to return and open up their pockets once again.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Chiang Mai One | Chiang Mai News

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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