Rubber protesters get 6pm deadline
- Published: 28 Oct 2013 at 13.50
- Online news:
Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok has given rubber protesters in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Bang Saphan district until 6pm today to disperse or face legal action under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act.
Pol Gen Pracha said on Monday the negotiation on Sunday failed because the protesters' demands could not be met.
The rubber growers started to block Phetkasem Highway at the Srinakhon intersection in Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province on Saturday.
Pol Gen Pracha, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and deputy police chief Pol Gen Vorapong Chiewpreecha went to Bang Saphan on Sunday afternoon to meet protesters but the two sides failed to reach an agreement in the talks.
Pol Gen Pracha said they demanded that government guarantees the price of unsmoked rubber sheet at 100 baht per kilogramme and oil palm at 6 baht/kg; refrain from importing palm oil from abroad; give a subsidy to all rubber farmers regardless of whether they have land ownership documents or not; transfer the Prachuap Khiri Khan police chief immediately; and spare the protesters from either criminal or civil actions.
The deputy prime minister in charge of solving rubber price problems said 33 of the 35 rubber farming representatives had previously agreed to 90 baht/kg for unsmoked rubber sheet and Agriculture Minister Yukol Limlaemthong had been assigned to work out details on the payment for the rubber farmers according to the agreement.
Officials had been verifying land ownership documents submitted by farmers who applied for the subsidy.
As for the demand for the transfer of the Prachuap Khiri Khan police chief, Pol Gen Pracha said the issue was within the authority of the Police Commission.
On the request that farmers be spared from legal action, he said provincial prosecutors explained to the protesters that a civil suit for compensation, if any, could not be ignored.
Following the failure of the talks, Pol Gen Pracha proposed that a tri-partite committee comprising representatives of the government, the rubber farmers and other concerned parties should be set up to consider issues raised by the protesters.
The tri-partite committee would be set up under the condition that the protesters first remove the road blockade.
Protest leaders said they needed to consult with rubber farmers on the proposal.
Pol Gen Pracha said the protesters have until 6pm today to decide whether to send representatives to the tri-partite committee, otherwise legal action would be taken against them under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act which had been imposed by the provincial governor.
He said police would not allow the protesters to close the alternative route along the coast between Bang Saphan and Nong Hat Thai.