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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  21 February 2014  

More farmers join Bangkok protests for rice payments

BANGKOK, Feb 20 – The Ministry of Commerce was completely sealed off for the second day today as more farmers poured into the capital from several provinces to demand due payment for their rice under government subsidy.

More than 500 farm vehicles which left Uthai Thani yesterday and encamped overnight in Sing Buri, 140 km north of Bangkok, are approaching the capital.

An initial report said they would rally at Suvarnabhumi Airport, or they may meet other farmers at the Commerce Ministry to jointly pressure caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to personally talk to them on rice payments.

Ms Yingluck has so far not ever met with protesting farmers but assigned such Cabinet members as caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong to talk to them, but to no avail.

Rawee Rungruang, leader of the Thai Farmers Network, said the government-proposed farmers fund to help farmers was a good idea but it did not meet farmers’ present demand for rice payment, not loans. (MCOT online news)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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