Today, The Nation reports a massive gathering of Burmese sports fans in Nakhon Pathom, just outside Bangkok, which resulted in mass arrests. The article begins:
When more than 10,000 itinerant Burmese labourers gathered at the sports ground of the Royal Police Cadet Academy in Sam Pran, Nakhon Pathom, yesterday, they were looking forward to enjoying their annual traditional celebration.
But within moments their hopes were dashed when some 200 officers of the Sam Pran District Police and the Immigration Police went to the field to round up the workers, who began to flee in panic. When calm was restored, 674 had been detained.
The workers thought they had been given permission to use the field.
This unfortunate event demonstrates, on a massive scale, the problems faced by many Burmese living and working in Thailand. While their labour supports the economy in too many provinces to name, they are still all treated like thieves.
That the Royal Police Cadet Academy was the site of the mass arrests means that yesterday’s events will be remembered for many years to come.