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PM urges Thailand to observe Songkran at home on April 13

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Human Rights Watch

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is calling on all citizens and residents to refrain from celebrating Songkran, cancel their trips home and avoid all gatherings during the 3 day festival, which kicks off on Monday.

The government announced last month that the Songkran holidays would be postponed to later, unspecified dates, in line with efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The premier says that, in keeping with tradition, people can sprinkle water on Buddha images at in their homes and express their gratitude to their parents “provided they maintain a 2 metre distance and wear face masks at all times”.

He also said in last night’s televised speech to the nation that the government does not have any immediate plans to extend the current 10pm-4am curfew hours.

Thailand has been under a state of emergency since March 26, which is due to expire on at the end of the month. The PM has indicated he may extend it.

Last week the PM supported the campaign to “Save Parents” during Songkran by NOT returning to visit parents in far-flung provinces, stay at home and save the celebrations with their parents until later. The campaign has also been designed to protect older members of the Thai community from potential infection.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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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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