Border alert in Mae Sai over anti-coup rally in Tachilek
published : 21 Feb 2021 at 16:01
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
Immigration police have stepped up their border watch duty in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai amid concern about a possible influx of Myanmar protesters fleeing a crackdown by authorities in Tachilek.
Immigration Bureau commissioner Somgpong Chingduang said on Sunday immigration authorities at the Mae Sai checkpoint were ordered to keep a close watch on the situation in the Myanmar town, opposite the district, after authorities cracked down on rallies against the coup..
Security authorities fired bullets at demonstrators in Mandalay on Saturday, killing two protesters in what was the deadliest incident since the army staged a coup on Feb 1.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets again in Myawaddy town, opposite Mae Sot district of Tak, on Sunday and another rally, at which the number of demonstrators was not immediately clear, was held in Tachilek.
The protest in Tachilek, the second in consecutive days, resulted in a closure of the checkpoint between the two countries for two hours before border trade was allowed to resume again.
Pol Lt Gen Sompong said no protesters fleeing the Myanmar authorities will be allowed to enter Thailand, and all will be immediately pushed back from the border.
Any new influx would put Thailand at risk of a wider spread of the coronavirus outbreak imported by the Myanmar migrants, he added.
Anti-coup protesters plan their largest rallies yet in Myanmar on Monday.
Saturday was believed to be the worst single day of violence in Myanmar since the military coup on Feb 1. (Reuters video)