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Opinion

How COVID-19 calmed a restive Southeast Asia

Political protest and violent conflicts ebb as 2020 draws to a close

| Singapore
A woman casts her vote during provincial elections in Prachuap Khiri Khan province in Thailand on Dec.  20: the public was more interested in education and justice reform and less concerned about the students' demands.   © Reuters

Michael Vatikiotis is Asia director for the Centre for Human Dialogue. He is author of "Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia."

When COVID-19 struck, there were dire projections of increased conflict and unrest across Southeast Asia based on the projected economic impact and social dislocation.

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