Farmers end protest in Phitsanulok

PHITSANULOK ― Rice farmers on Tuesday agreed to end their rally at the Indochina intersection in Muang district after a two-day protest demanding the caretaker government pay them for crops pledged under the government's subsidy scheme.

Around 150 farmers led by Chatree Ampool shut the Indochina intersection at tambon Samo Khae on Monday to demand caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pay farmers owed money through the rice-pledging scheme. 

The protest continued into Tuesday, when the number of the demonstrators fell to 50 and the intersection was reopened to vehicular traffic. It was the second rally in the area. Around 500 farmers blocked off the same intersection last Thursday. 

The group agreed to disperse in the evening after Phitsanulok governor Rapee Pongbuppakij promised to provide immediate assistance to the affected farmers and a clear answer on what is happening with their rice payments by Friday, Jan 31.

Mr Chatree said he would mobilise farmers across the province to permanently shut down the intersection on Friday at 10am if Mr Rapee fails to provide them with an acceptable solution by Friday.

In an emotional address to protesters, Mr Chatree said both local red-shirts and community leaders tried to pressure him to end the protest, on orders from high-level officials.

The red-shirts threatened to hurt his family if he continued to lead the rally seeking money for unpaid farmers including for himself, he said. 

“I am concerned about my family but I cannot just stop demanding because all our fellow farmers are in distress,” Mr Chatree said. 

At one point, Mr Chatree burst into tears while addressing the crowd. A number of protesters also started crying.

Several tearful farmers shouted angrily that they had no money to buy food or to send their children to school because the government has failed to pay them for rice sold under its subsidy scheme. They said the situation had also forced them to borrow money from loan sharks.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 29/01/2014 at 03:28 PM
It’s an awful situation for the farmers, but they are sitting in between two chairs with their demonstration. If they help Suthep will they never see their money, and if they wait for the government to pay, it’s a 50/50 chance they will have their payment. And who put them there? The Democrats. It’s a clever came, with poor farmers as losers. They will be forgotten, as soon as the elite has made their coup.
Discussion 2 : 29/01/2014 at 09:45 AM
May I suggest North Korea...
Discussion 3 : 29/01/2014 at 07:30 AM
The real significance of this story is that the only legitimacy the Red Shirts ever had is that they were the presumed representatives of the rural and farming communities. If, as this story seems to indicate, they are not that, then what are they?
Discussion 4 : 28/01/2014 at 11:06 PM
In fact, the leader of farmer protesters (Mr. Chatree) in Phitsanulok was pressured and threatened by red shirts and local govt. officials to end rally against government (Source: Matichon Thai Newspaper, 28 Jan., 2014)....this is typical red way...intimidation and violence!
Discussion 5 : 28/01/2014 at 11:03 PM
Ban the redshirts, they can try to get a life in Vietnam or China.
Discussion 6 : 28/01/2014 at 10:51 PM
Red Shirt threatening the farmers. Red Shirt should be ashamed of themselves. Isn't it enough they stole everything from them?
Discussion 7 : 28/01/2014 at 10:50 PM
And now the red shirts are pushing the rice farmers back? Red Shirts are nothing but an ignorant collection of Shinawatra thugs! Lao Kao and donut boxes from Dubai!
Discussion 8 : 28/01/2014 at 10:33 PM
the puea thaksin regime and their redshirt thugs exposed yet again. but then we know they don't really care about the farmers, just the money they grab from the rice scam.
Discussion 9 : 28/01/2014 at 10:19 PM
quote from above " The red-shirts threatened to hurt his family if he continued to lead the rally seeking money for unpaid farmers including for himself, he said." Doesn't that tell you red shirt supporters something.!!!!!
Discussion 10 : 28/01/2014 at 09:48 PM
Is this one of the PT promised reforms do as we say or we hurt your family ... just give the farmers an answer can you pay them or not its simple as that this secrecy is helping no one and just making people more angry and suffering financially

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