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Thailand News Today | Fallout from weekend protest violence, Samut Prakan Covid cluster | March 22

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We apologise for some poor patches of sound in the opening of today’s Thailand News Today… the fallout from the weekend’s protests in Bangkok and the violence that followed, the latest from the Samut Prakan Covid cluster, next door to Bangkok, and a wind-fall for a couple in Nakhon Si Thammarat digging around their backyard.

The Thaiger is unable to post any of the violent footage from the weekend protest due to restrictions on monetisation. A full video is available to view on our story at thethaiger.com

Samut Prakan is emerging as Thailand’s latest Covid hotspot after a new cluster of infections was detected among the province’s migrant workers last week.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau has defended the response from police amid strong opposition to the actions taken against protesters in Bangkok on Saturday evening. Scuffles between police and pro-democracy activists left at least 33 people injured, including 13 police officers and 3 journalists – a news reporter from Channel 8 was injured after being struck by a rubber bullet.

The extent of the violence, and the injury of Thai journalists covering the event, has caused 6 journalist peak organisations to issue a statement today, calling on all sides in the current political conflict to show restraint.

Meanwhile, today, the Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, is charing a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the matters of the weekend violence. The King Prajadhipok Institute is calling for dialogue between the opposing groups, urging the Reconciliation Committee to focus more on talks instead of carrying out studies and filing reports. The Reconciliation Committee is an initiative created by the government late last year, but activists and government critics have refused to take part, saying the committee is merely smoke and mirrors to keep the current administration in power.

Pro-democracy activists have been calling on monarchy and government reform along with a rewrite of the 2017 military-backed constitution. While Thais seem to be split on the issues around government and monarchy reform, a recent poll found that most Thais want a new constitution.

A 46 year old in Nakhon Si Thammarat has had a lucky day after digging 100,000 baht hidden in the backyard of his house by the previous owner. Most of the money was in plastic bags and in good condition. Most of the bills were 500 baht bills and there is at least 50,000 baht just in that denomination alone.

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