Foreign land grab threat not just an illusion

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Remember the news three years ago about some Saudi sheikhs trying to buy up paddy fields in central Thailand to ensure a steady rice supply for their oil-rich but food-scarce countries?

Back then, the authorities could not deliver any evidence of the buy-ups, and blamed foreign men with Thai wives for purchasing local land through proxy ownership. That's why I thought the brouhaha was simply a case of xenophobia.

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