By Nang Mya Nadi
Several people were seriously injured after violence erupted between Thai and Burmese labourers near a construction site in Thailand’s Ayutthaya province on Sunday.
Tensions between Thai and Burmese nationals hired to help construct a power plant in in Ayutthaya’s Phachi district overflowed when a brawl between an estimated 800 people erupted on Sunday evening.
According to the Bangkok Post, one Thai and two Burmese workers were seriously injured after the workers attacked each other with sticks, knives and construction tools.
The police were called in and reportedly fired warning shots to help disperse the mob.
“The police first arrived in a vehicle but they had to call in another one after they were unable to control the situation,” said one Burmese worker who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Thailand’s Matichon newspaper reported that the clash broke out after Thai employees sought revenge for a colleague who was allegedly assaulted by more than 20 Burmese migrant workers.
Another Burmese worker told DVB that about 100 of the estimated 500 Burmese labourers employed at the construction site showed up for work yesterady out of fear that more hostilities would break out. Officials from the Burmese embassy and Burmese monks also arrived at the site on Monday to help meditate the situation.
Sunday’s violence wasn’t the first time tensions between Thai and Burmese nationals has come to a head in the area. Ayutthaya had been the Kingdom of Siam’s capital for centuries until Burmese forces sacked the gilded city in 1767 during the Burmese-Siamese War.