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‘I’m not afraid of Prayuth’: 5 defiant Songkraners arrested after taunting PM

Songkraners arrested

Five people in Thailand’s northeast were arrested Sunday for celebrating the Thai New Year, which has essentially been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Police arrested five revelers – two minors and three men – at a home in Roi Et province and charged them with violating the Emergency Decree after someone in the group announced their plans on Facebook Live. They then used their account to live stream the group splashing water and partying.

Some of them challenged Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who enacted the decree last month.

“Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. Prayuth, Prayuth, Prayuth … I’m not afraid of Prayuth!” one man said in the footage.

Of the five, three tested positive not for the virus but for drugs, according to Col. Narong Noipho of Po Noi Station.

Today is officially the beginning of the three-day Songkran festival, which is usually celebrated in the streets nationwide with a wet, often drunken, party. On Friday, Prayuth asked the public not to celebrate Songkran and avoid traveling home to see their families. The government earlier canceled the public holidays slated for the festival due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It says they will be reinstated after things return to normal.

On Monday afternoon, Thailand announced another 28 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths, making 2,579 infections and 40 fatalities since the outbreak began.

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