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Rubber protests continue

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The protests by southern rubber growers continued yesterday with the blockage of roads and railway lines. Democrat politicians demanded action to help the growers and denied they were behind the protests. 

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Farmers and supporters pulled trucks across the highway and railroad tracks in Nahkon Si Thammarat province between Ban Toon and Cha-uat railway stations in Cha-uat district. (Photos by Patipat Janthong)

Six wanted over rubber protests

Suthep denies being behind farmer strife

Post Reporters

The provincial court of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Tuesday issued warrants for the arrest of six people in connection with the rubber farmers' protest in Cha-uat district.

The six face charges in connection with the farmers' road and rail blockade and putting public safety at risk.

Police said "violence-prone teen-agers" were recruited into the protest.

The move came after rubber farmers blocked the railway between Ban Toon station and Cha-uat station in Cha-uat district to demand the government tackle tumbling rubber prices.

The farmers had earlier set up a blockade on Highway No.41 near  Khuan Nong Hong intersection in the district.

Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said Tuesday the police had no policy to use force against the farmers and so far no special law was needed to handle the protest.

His assurance came amid concerns over the possible use of riot police to break up the protest. About 1,100 riot police were Tuesday sent from Muang district to the office of Bo Lo wildlife sanctuary, 20km from the protest base.

The police spokesman said the protest has been joined by other groups with political interests and violence-prone teen-agers, making talks impossible.

However, attempts to negotiate with the protesters continue via local leaders such as kamnan and village chiefs.

A view of the road blockage in Cha-uat.

Preparations are under way to handle mass rallies by rubber farmers across the country on Sept 3.

The rail blockade Tuesday forced the State Railway of Thailand to suspend five South-bound train routes. However, train services from Phatthalung station southward are unaffected.

A group of kamnan and village heads Tuesday urged the protesters to remove the rail blockade and gather at Khuan Nong Hong intersection.

Led by Pensri Thongboonchu, president of Cha-uat's village head and tambon chief club, the local leaders also called on the protesters to disperse.

A leaflet also circulated Tuesday in the district.

Signed by the people of Cha-uat district, it said the protesters were not locals and they would be thrown out by residents if they refused to leave.

Democrat MP for Surat Thani Suthep Thaugsuban Tuesday denied an allegation he was the politician with the initial "S" who was behind the protest.

He said the accusation was baseless and the protest was the result of two years of government negligence in addressing low rubber prices.

Mr Suthep called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to address the rubber price problem and respect the farmers' right to demonstrate the way she did with red-shirt protesters.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit denied the government was applying double standards.

He said the government sent a representative to talk to the farmers and it was agreed raw sheet rubber would be bought at 80 baht/kg.

He said the remaining protesters were from other areas and could have been sent there by certain politicians.

In parliament, Ms Yingluck Tuesday appeared briefly during a joint sitting of parliament debating charter amendments and she was pressured to address the issue of falling rubber prices.

Southern rail traffic above Phattalung has come to a halt.

Democrat list-MP Jurit Laksanavisit demanded Ms Yingluck give assurances the government would not use force to break up the rubber farmers' protest.

He said the farmers would be happy if the government guaranteed the rubber price at 100 baht/kg.

Ms Yingluck agreed to look into the issue and ask the relevant authorities to deal with the problem.

Mr Jurit, however, carried on prodding her about rubber prices, prompting Pheu Thai MPs to protest that the issue should be left for discussion Thursday.

Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Mai Jullapat Amornwiwat suggested Mr Jurit talk to the prime minister personally so Mr Jurit walked up to the prime minister and talked to her for a minute.

Ms Yingluck left the meeting after the one-minute encounter.

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Rubber protests continue and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.

Vocabulary:

address: to deal with a problem - จัดการปัญหา

allegation: an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved - ข้อกล่าวหา

amendment: a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ

amid: at the same time as - ท่ามกลาง

arrest: (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - การจับกุม

assurance: a promise; a guarantee - การรับประกัน, การรับรอง

at risk: in danger - ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

base: a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates from - ฐานทัพ, ฐานที่มั่น

baseless: groundless; based on no good reasons or facts - ไม่มีมูลความจริง

block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง

blockade: an action that is intended to prevent people or goods from moving from one place to another - การกีดขวาง; การกีดขวางการจราจร

bound: travelling, or ready to travel, in a particular direction or to a particular place - มุ่งหน้า

charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา

charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ

circulate: to pass from one person to another - ยังคงมีการแพร่ระบาดอยู่

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

connection: something that connects two things, etc. - การเชื่อมต่อ การเชื่อมโยง

debate: to discuss something, especially by giving different opinions - อภิปราย, ถกเถียง, โต้เถียง

demand: to ask for something very firmly - เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ

demonstrate: to protest against something, especially with a large group of people - ชุมนุมประท้วง

deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ

disperse: (of a crowd of people) to separate and leave in different directions  - สลายฝูงชน

double standard: a rule or standard of good behaviour which, unfairly, some people are expected to follow or achieve but other people are not - สองมาตรฐาน

encounter: a meeting, especially one that happens by chance - การเผชิญหน้า

gather: to come together in a group - รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม

guarantee: to promise someone that they will have something or will get something - รับประกัน, ค้ำประกัน

halt: a stop - หยุดนิ่ง

handle: to deal with a situation, a person, an area of work or a strong emotion - ควบคุม, ปฏิบัติ,จัดการ

impossible: something that cannot happen - เป็นไปไม่ได้

initial: the first letter of a person's first name - อักษรแรกของชื่อ

interest: a connection, especially a business connection, ownership, etc. - ส่วนได้เสีย

intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก

issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น

issue: to officially give out - ออก

joint session: a meeting of both Houses of Parliament, i.e., the House of Representatives and the Senate - การประชุมร่วมกันของสมาชิกจากสองสภา

leaflet: a piece of paper which gives you information or advertises something - ใบปลิว

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

mass rally: a very large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุมใหญ่

negligence: when you do not give enough care or attention to someone or something - ความประมาท, ความไม่เอาใจใส่

negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง

policy: a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย

pressure: to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - กดดัน

prod: to try to make somebody do something, especially when they are unwilling - กระตุ้น, แหย่

prompt: to cause someone to take action - กระตุ้น

prone: to likely to experience a particular problem more often than is usual - ที่มีแนวโน้ม

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

raw: in its natural state; not yet changed, used or made into something else - ดิบ

recruit: to persuade someone to join in something - จัดหาคนใหม่

refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ

relevant: directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered - ที่เกี่ยวข้อง

remove: to take something away - เอาออกจาก

representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน

residents: people who live in a particular area - ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่

respect: to accept the importance of something; to act according to a rule or law - เคารพ

riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล

spokesman: a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization - โฆษก

strife: disagreement or fighting between people or groups - การขัดแย้งกัน

suggest: to mention an idea or a plan for somebody else to think about - เสนอ, เสนอแนะ

suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว

tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem - จัดการกับปัญหา

tumble: to fall down - ล้ม,ล้มลง,ตกลง,หกคะเมน

unaffected: not changed or influenced by something; not affected by something - ซึ่งไม่ได้รับผลกระทบ, ซึ่งไม่ได้รับความกระทบกระเทือน

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

via: using, by way of, through - โดยทาง, โดยเส้นทาง, ทาง

violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

warrant: a legal document that is signed by a judge and gives the police authority to do something - หมาย

wildlife sanctuary: a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions - เขตสงวนพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า

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