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Asia Thailand – Rice Farmers threaten to join Anti – Government Protests

Thai farmers threaten to joint anti-government protests

Thai farmers cultivate rice near Chiang Saen. Thailand is the largest rice exporter in the world. (File photo)

Thai farmers cultivate rice near Chiang Saen. Thailand is the largest rice exporter in the world. (File photo)
Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:40AM GMT

A number of rice farmers in Thailand have threatened to join the anti-government protesters if they do not get paid for their crops.

Prom Boonmachoey, the leader of a farmers’ group in the central province of Suphan Buri, said on Monday that thousands more would join the demonstrations if rice farmers do not get compensation.

The government has failed to fulfill its pledge to guarantee farmers to receive an above-market price for their rice, amid financial woes in the country.

Prom said they are sending a delegation to visit lawyers, adding, “The Thai Lawyers Council is our consultant and it will help us file a lawsuit against the government.”

He explained that the farmers want their crops back if they cannot receive the payment they were vowed.

Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, might face output cuts from Thai unit auto giant Toyota Motor Corp if the ant-government protests continue. The company has also threatened to reconsider its planned $6 million investment in the country.

Thailand has been the scene of protests against the government of Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra since October 2013.

Protests started on October 31, 2013, after the government proposed an amnesty bill that could have pardoned the prime minister’s brother, former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, setting the scene for his return to Thailand.

The ex-premier, who was ousted in 2006, has been in self-exile since 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence over corruption.

The protests intend to derail February 2 election, which the prime minister called in an attempt to contain the political crisis

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