Thai receives racist taunts in London


Thai Man Encounters Racist Attack In London Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Warns Others To Stay Alert

Images adapted from: Pawat Silawattakun

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is not just a mere virus that’s hurting people physically – it has also become a gateway for xenophobia and racism against Asian folk around the globe.

Last week, Mr. Pawat Silawattakun a 24-year-old Thai man who lives in London, England shared a devastating story on Facebook about how he experienced a hate crime based on because of his race.


Happened in broad daylight


Thai Man Encounters Racist Attack In London Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Warns Others To Stay Alert

Image credit: Jack Gisel
Note: Photos in the article are for illustration purposes only

During an afternoon in early February, Mr. Silawattakun was walking down a street with his headphones oe when he heard faint shouts and laughter from his left, with someone chanting the word “coronavirus” over and over again.

Turning to the direction of the voices, he saw 2 English teenagers watching him. But right before Mr. Silawattakun could ask them to stop shouting, another guy snatched his headphones away while mocking him. 

Mr. Silawattakun then decided to run after them. When they reached a large traffic junction, one of them turned around and punched him in the nose. He was left with a bleeding, broken nose.

The whole time, Mr. Silawattakun kept shouting for help, letting others know that his headphones were stolen. But the crowd remained indifferent to his pleas.


The teens were recording it on video


In his post, he also mentioned that one of the boys was filming the whole incident and acted as if it was something funny. 

Thai Man Encounters Racist Attack In London Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Warns Others To Stay Alert

Image credit: Sven Brandsma

After the incident, Mr. Silawattakun rushed himself to a hospital and contacted the police about what happened. As of today, the suspects have yet to be found. 

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before”, Mr. Silawattakun told BBC Thai. He also revealed that after his post became viral, other Asian people came forward to share their experiences with racism since the outbreak of Covid-19. Some were spat on, while others were egged. 

At the end of his statement, he asked his “fellow East Asians” to look after themselves for their own safety as he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone – and neither do we. 

If you don’t look after yourself,  the Covid-19 virus can and will infect you regardless of your race. So take good care of yourself and stay respectful of those around you.


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