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Opinion

Coronavirus challenges Southeast Asia's fragile democracies

Governments turn to military to prevent social unrest after economic crunch

| Indonesia
Train passengers wear masks at Senen Train Station in Jakarta on Mar. 20: governments must think about how to maintain order as well as save lives.   © LightRocket/Getty Images

The pictures on social media showed three men armed with assault rifles guarding the entrance to a convenience store in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya after thieves were reported to have stolen cash from a similar store. This is a scene that could become more common around Southeast Asia as strict measures aimed at combating the COVID-19 virus start to impact on employment and livelihoods.

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