ERJ staff report (BC)
Bangkok, Thailand – Protests by rubber farmers protest in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammrat entered their sixth day on 27 August, reported the Bangkok Post, with the leaders intent on guarding their rally sites to prevent riot police dispersing them.
Trucks remain parked across the main southern highway, blocking all lanes, and the railway tracks between Ban Toon and Cha-uat railway stations in Cha-uat district, as planters demanded that the Thai government guarantee a higher price for their sheet rubber. Protesters wanted to know why the government favours rice farmers with heavy subsidies.
Somporn Yodrabum, one of the protest leaders, said the government should avoid using force against them and should settle the dispute through negotiation.
Reports said the protesting farmers also planned to block a main road in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Chian Yai district on Tuesday night but were foiled when 500 police were deployed there ahead of them.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlaemthong, also a deputy prime minister, is reported as saying that the farmers have the right to protest but must stay within the law.
"We'll have to explain the rubber price situation to the farmers.
"The government is not passive about helping farmers, whether or not they're in the South. The government is ready to help, regardless of what political party they support," Yukol is reported as saying.
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Full story from Bangkok Post