Thai rice farmer draw Feb 15 deadline for government

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Thai rice farmersHundreds of Thai farmers have gathered in a protest in Bangkok over the past days to set a deadline for the government to pay for their rice purchase before February 15. The protesting farmers have also petitioned for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to sue the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged corruption activities related to its rice subsidy programme.

During recent days, rice growers in provinces in central Thailand flocked to Bangkok to demand payment from the Thai government for the rice purchase from October 2013. Under the programme, the government purchased rice at around $500 per tonne, far higher than the market price, but payment has been suspended since.

More than one million farmers have not being paid, scores of them have been left in deep debt and there are reports of increasing rural suicides.

Yingluck explained that the dismissal of the country’s parliament in December 2013 was the reason behind the delay of payment, affirming that all farmers who have joined the rice programme will get full payment “as soon as possible”. However, the prime minister is under investigation of the NACC on charge of neglecting the implementation of the programme.

Preliminary statistics showed that the Thai Government owed rice farmers across the country an estimated $4 billion in rice payment.

Meanwhile, the opposite camp lead by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has outlined a plan to collect money for Thai farmers in a bid to attract their support for his side. But the President of the Thai Rice Farmers Association, Prasit Boonchoey, affirmed that his agency will not participate in anti-government protests. The Northern Farmers Network (NFN), which has nearly 50,000 members, also said it will neither relate to Suthep’s camp nor organise demonstrations in Bangkok.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Hundreds of Thai farmers have gathered in a protest in Bangkok over the past days to set a deadline for the government to pay for their rice purchase before February 15. The protesting farmers have also petitioned for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to sue the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged corruption activities related to its rice subsidy programme.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thai rice farmersHundreds of Thai farmers have gathered in a protest in Bangkok over the past days to set a deadline for the government to pay for their rice purchase before February 15. The protesting farmers have also petitioned for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to sue the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged corruption activities related to its rice subsidy programme.

During recent days, rice growers in provinces in central Thailand flocked to Bangkok to demand payment from the Thai government for the rice purchase from October 2013. Under the programme, the government purchased rice at around $500 per tonne, far higher than the market price, but payment has been suspended since.

More than one million farmers have not being paid, scores of them have been left in deep debt and there are reports of increasing rural suicides.

Yingluck explained that the dismissal of the country’s parliament in December 2013 was the reason behind the delay of payment, affirming that all farmers who have joined the rice programme will get full payment “as soon as possible”. However, the prime minister is under investigation of the NACC on charge of neglecting the implementation of the programme.

Preliminary statistics showed that the Thai Government owed rice farmers across the country an estimated $4 billion in rice payment.

Meanwhile, the opposite camp lead by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has outlined a plan to collect money for Thai farmers in a bid to attract their support for his side. But the President of the Thai Rice Farmers Association, Prasit Boonchoey, affirmed that his agency will not participate in anti-government protests. The Northern Farmers Network (NFN), which has nearly 50,000 members, also said it will neither relate to Suthep’s camp nor organise demonstrations in Bangkok.

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