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Turbulent Thailand

COVID brings false calm to Thailand's streets

Vaccine chaos fuels rage as protesters wait for pandemic's end

Mothers of anti-government protest leaders facing lese majeste charges demand the release of their sons outside Remand Prison, in Bangkok on April 28.    © Reuters

BANGKOK -- The third wave of COVID-19 that has broken over Thailand has brought a deceptive quiet to the country's streets. Anti-government protesters cannot stage big demonstrations, but the mood remains defiant and unrest is likely to erupt again as soon as the pandemic subsides.

The pro-democracy demonstrations, which drew massive support from young people last year, touch on the most sensitive issue in Thai politics: reform of the monarchy. But they have sputtered because the latest COVID-19 flare-up has forced would-be protesters to practice social distancing.

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