Major farmers' rally set for Monday

About 4,500 farmers from 20 provinces will stage a major rally in front of the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence, the cabinet's temporary workplace, on Monday to demand the government pay them 130 billion baht under the rice-pledging scheme, Thai Farmers Network acting chairman Rawee Rungruang said.

Mr Rawee said the farmers' representatives would insist on meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra only.

The farmers will give the government seven days to pay the debt, otherwise the rally will be escalated.

The rally will not be called off until the debt is fully paid, Mr Rawee said.

On the government's vow to get 5 billion baht for the first round of debt payment, he said the money would be enough for just about 10,000 farmers. He believed this was only a government tactic to buy time.

In doing it this way it would take six months to one year for all the farmers to get paid, Mr Rawee said.

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