Author Topic: Farmers plan mass rally in Bangkok  (Read 705 times)

Offline thaiga

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Farmers plan mass rally in Bangkok
« on: February 04, 2014, 06:01:15 PM »
Rice growers blocking Rama II road in Ratchaburi have demanded to talk with a deputy prime minister or minister with a relevant portfolio about ending their road blockade, or they will intensify their protest, reports said.

Farmers from several western provinces are blocking the highway at the Wang Manao intersection in Ratchaburi’s Pak Tho district for the fourth straight day, demanding the government quickly come up with delayed payments owned them for grain delivered months ago under the rice pledging scheme.

Rawee Rungruang, leader of the six western provinces rice farmers, said they will not hold discussions with provincial officials because they have no real authority to make a decision to help ease the difficulties of farmers suffering from the delayed rice payments.

He threatened to intensify protests if their demand is not met.

Mr Rawee said rice farmers in the lower part of the North are also planning to move down and join the farmers protesting in the central plains. After that they will fix a date when rice growers from various provinces, including his group, will to travel to rally in Bangkok on the same day, to pressure the government to speed up rice payments.

He insisted that the farmers’ rallies had nothing to do with the ongoing anti-government protest in Bangkok by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Rice farmers have to take to the streets because they have not yet been paid for rice harvests pledged several months and have no money to buy food and other essentials, he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Farmers to block all main roads across country tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 01:55:32 PM »
And more heading to Bangkok to demand money for rice sold to govt scheme

RICE FARMERS plan to scale up their protests against the government by closing all main roads in the country tomorrow.

With their days-long blockade of roads in Ratchaburi having little impact, rice farmers in the western province were initially looking to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) for help. But the group later announced they would close all main roads across the country to force the caretaker government to resolve their crisis.

The farmers are in financial trouble after the government repeatedly delayed payments in recent weeks for rice submitted to the pledging scheme. The

farmers are supposed to receive payments soon, in fact, after presenting certificates from the scheme to the BAAC. But without funds coming from the government, the BAAC has said it is unable to pay them.

Rawee Rungruang, who led many farmers blocking the Rama II Road yesterday, said: "Now, please count our certificates from the scheme as equivalent to land title deeds so that we can get loans to cover our daily expenses and invest in farming materials for the next crop season."

He suggested that the BAAC should then collect repayment, including interest, from the government later on.

Ministries to be targeted

Rawee said late yesterday that farmers from all four regions had agreed to block all main roads tomorrow so no car could pass. They would also send members to join the farmers' protest in Bangkok and possibly close the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance to demand the rice money they are owed.

Rawee's group has closed Rama II Road around the Wang Manao intersection in Ratchaburi's Pak Tho district since February 1.

The rice-pledging scheme was introduced as one of Pheu Thai Party's populist policies several years ago.

But instead of benefiting farmers, it has left 1.4 million rice-growing families in dire trouble because it has lapsed in a financial mess - with the government unable to sell rice bought at well over market prices, or secure billions more needed to pay for the latest crop.

Upset with the government, a number of farmers in Central provinces are preparing to travel to Bangkok and demand payment in front of the Commerce Ministry tomorrow (Feb6).

"If the government doesn't give us a satisfactory answer, we will block roads," Songphon Poonsawas, a leader of farmers in Angthong, said.

Northern Farmers Network chairman Kittisak Rattanawaraha said many farmers in the North wanted to head to the capital to pressure the government but did not have money to pay for the trip.

In Buri Ram, farmers are also struggling to find odd jobs, as they need to cover living expenses till the government can pay for rice it has bought under the scheme.

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Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Farmers demanding rice back
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 02:32:36 PM »
BANGKOK 6 February 2014 (NNT) — Hundreds of rice farmers have reached the Wang Manow intersection and are heading towards the Ministry of Commerce in Bangkok to demand the government give their rice back to them, so that they can sell it on their own.

According to Ravi Roongreung, a core leader of the farmers from the western provinces, rice farmers have now gathered at the Wang Manow intersection in Petchburi province, and are dividing into groups to march on to the Commerce Ministry in Bangkok.

Mr. Ravi pointed out that there had been numerous attempts to negotiate to no avail with the Ministry concerning the compensation for the pledged rice. The rice farmers have therefore planned to march to Bangkok and demand the Ministry give them back their rice so that they can sell it in the market themselves.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.