A group of legal Burmese workers became the latest victims of rabid Thais who increasingly are demonizing foreigners of all shades as public-health threats spreading the coronavirus, despite any actual evidence to support their claims.
This time is was Phetchabun Thais whose heads spontaneously exploded when one posted photos of 12 buses and songthaews carrying Burmese tourists to the province’s Khao Kho National Park Sunday. Without knowing who they were – other than the fact they were obviously not Thai – the keyboard warrior rallied a mob to protest Burmese people bringing the coronavirus outbreak raging in Myanmar to Issan even though the travelers had not been outside Thailand in months.
The Facebook poster claimed the Burmese weren’t wearing masks and disease-control measures were not being observed.
Khao Koh Deputy District Chief Amnat Poonyod quickly tried to hose down the racist mob, putting out a statement that Burmese were legal, long-time employees from Thailand chicken conglomerate Saha Farms who came to the town on a company junket for the long holiday.
Instead of bad-mouthing them, Amnat suggested, Phetchabun residents should be welcoming them with open arms and Thai smiles as they’re supporting the local tourism industry while many fellow Thais are not.
The group traveled in the Wat Phra That Phasornkaew which did, in fact, set up a health-screening point and required mask use.
Amnat told local race-baiters to take a chill pill, pointing out that there were fewer tourists in town this holiday than over the four-day weekend in August.