Violent clashes erupt in Thailand

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Thai rubber farmersRubber farmers in Thailand, who have been protesting for higher price compensation by the government over the past week, clashed with riot police on September 5 in the southern province of Prachuap Khirikhan, some 240 kilometers south of Bangkok, leaving at least 24 people injured.

Masked protesters threw glass bottles with acid they normally use for rubber production, shot objects with slingshots and small smoke bombs at police after they were asked not to block the traffic, but ignored the appeal, and riot police moved to disperse them. Two cars were set on fire near the protest site.

Police responded by shooting firecrackers and using tear gas against the demonstrators but did not fire any gunshots. The riots lasted all day, and a couple of demonstrators and farmers were arrested.

The around 1,000 protesters vowed not to disperse until the government sent representatives to talk to them and released the detained. There were also scattered scuffles at bigger protest sites in Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces.

There had been fears that the protesters would try to block provincial airports, some of which serve key tourist destinations such as Koh Samui and other holiday islands. Rail services have resumed after protesters earlier blocked train tracks.

Thailand is the world’s largest rubber exporter.

The government has said it will set up another committee to try to solve the rubber price standoff. If protests continue, it could have a heavy impact on the Thai economy, impacting rubber exports and causing further political instability that, in turn, could have a ripple effect hitting the country’s other major sources of revenue including tourism.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Rubber farmers in Thailand, who have been protesting for higher price compensation by the government over the past week, clashed with riot police on September 5 in the southern province of Prachuap Khirikhan, some 240 kilometers south of Bangkok, leaving at least 24 people injured.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thai rubber farmersRubber farmers in Thailand, who have been protesting for higher price compensation by the government over the past week, clashed with riot police on September 5 in the southern province of Prachuap Khirikhan, some 240 kilometers south of Bangkok, leaving at least 24 people injured.

Masked protesters threw glass bottles with acid they normally use for rubber production, shot objects with slingshots and small smoke bombs at police after they were asked not to block the traffic, but ignored the appeal, and riot police moved to disperse them. Two cars were set on fire near the protest site.

Police responded by shooting firecrackers and using tear gas against the demonstrators but did not fire any gunshots. The riots lasted all day, and a couple of demonstrators and farmers were arrested.

The around 1,000 protesters vowed not to disperse until the government sent representatives to talk to them and released the detained. There were also scattered scuffles at bigger protest sites in Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces.

There had been fears that the protesters would try to block provincial airports, some of which serve key tourist destinations such as Koh Samui and other holiday islands. Rail services have resumed after protesters earlier blocked train tracks.

Thailand is the world’s largest rubber exporter.

The government has said it will set up another committee to try to solve the rubber price standoff. If protests continue, it could have a heavy impact on the Thai economy, impacting rubber exports and causing further political instability that, in turn, could have a ripple effect hitting the country’s other major sources of revenue including tourism.

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