Rubber protest spreads | Bangkok Post: learning

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Updated: Rubber protest spreads as talks fail

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Thousands of rubber growers escalated their protest Tuesday by blocking several roads in the South and Rayong. The government is continuing without success its attempt to negotiate a way out of the crisis. 

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Rubber farmers blockade a section of Highway No. 41 near the Surat Thani Cooperative in Phunphin district to demand the government arrest falling rubber prices yesterday. However the protesters lifted the road blockade later in the day. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Noon update: Talks in Surat Thani between leaders of rubber growers and Pol Maj Gen Thawat Boonfueng, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, have broken down. The leaders questioned the government's sincerity since Pol Maj Gen Thawat had no decision-making power.

The local leaders have told those gathered in Surat Thani to continue protesting in their own districts, carrying out their own separate negotiations.

Authorities are worried there will be attempts to close government offices and shut down airports in the South. The Surat Thani International Airport is located only two kilometres from the protest centre at Surat Thani Cooperative in Phunphin district.

It is also not clear if the proposed meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong in Bangkok can go ahead.

Rubber farmers reject cabinet subsidy offer

Government sends negotiator to Nakhon Si Thammarat


A government representative will negotiate with rubber farmers in Nakhon Si Thammarat Wednesday after they threatened to intensify their protests following a cabinet offer which failed to appease them.

Thousands of growers Tuesday escalated their protest by blocking several roads in the South and Rayong, including Highway No.41 in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Highways No.417 and No.41 in Surat Thani, the main road in front of provincial hall complex in Rayong, and a road in Phatthalung's Si Nakharin district.

The Thassala district office has become the latest protest venue in Nakhon Si Thammarat. There are also protests in neighbouring Phattalung and Surat Thani provinces. NUCHAREE RARKRUN

The cabinet Tuesday approved 5.62 billion baht from the central budget for use as a subsidy for rubber planters, as proposed by the national rubber policy committee.

Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said a subsidy of 1,260 baht per rai of rubber plantation, limited to 10 rai per farmer, will be transferred through Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BACC) accounts directly to rubber growers.

The approved subsidy is lower than the one the government earlier offered and which was accepted by rubber farmers in the Central Plains, the North and Northeast, but rejected by those in the South and the East.

Previously, the government offered a subsidy of up to 25 rai per farmer.

Mr Kittiratt has asked rubber farmers to send their representatives to hand in their additional demands at the Centra Government Complex Hotel in Chaeng Watthana area of the capital at 2pm Wednesday.

But the farmers called on him to meet them in Nakhon Si Thammarat or Surat Thani. They threatened to lay siege to Nakhon Si Thammarat airport if the provincial governor did not accept their demands.

Mr Kittiratt said he was ready to negotiate with the protesters wherever they wanted but if he went to the South at this particular time it would cause trouble for security authorities.

He denied he was lazy or afraid of being killed should he travel to meet the farmers.

About 7pm, the government assigned Pol Maj Gen Thawat Boonfueng, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, to fly to Nakhon Si Thammarat to negotiate with protesters. He has scheduled talks with their representatives this morning.

Riot police have been deployed to tighten security at the international airports in Surat Thani and Krabi.

Earlier in the day, more than 20,000 protesters rallied at the Surat Thani Cooperative in Surat Thani's Phunphin district about 2.30pm.

Rubber growers in Rayong block off a section of Sukhumvit Road leading to the downtown area and burn coffins in protest against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlaemthong. JUMPHOL NIKOMRUK

More than 700 rubber growers from Rayong and neighbouring Chon Buri rallied outside the provincial hall in Rayong's Muang district and blocked off a section of Sukhumvit Road leading to downtown areas.


account: a written record of money that is owed to a business and of money that has been paid by it - บัญชี

agriculture: the science or practice of farming - เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร

appease: to say or do something in order to make someone feel less angry - ปลอบใจ หรือทำให้เป็นที่พอใจ

approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต

arrest: to stop a process or a development - หยุด, ชะลอ, ทำให้ล่าช้า

assign: to give a person a particular task or position - มอบหมาย, สั่งงาน

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

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

budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ

cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี

capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง

coffin: a box in which a dead body is buried or cremated - โลงศพ

complex: a large building with various connected rooms or a related group of buildings -

cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์

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

deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ

deploy: (of police, soldiers, government officials or equipment) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง ประจำการ

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

escalate: to become much more serious or much worse - ทำให้เพิ่มขึ้น, ทำให้มากขึ้น

intensify: to strengthen - เข้มข้นขึ้น

lay siege to: to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out - ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด

lift its blockade: to stop preventing people from going in, out or through an area - เปิดที่กั้นหรือแผงกั้น

negotiator: a person who to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - ผู้เจรจา

offer: an act of saying that you are willing to do something for somebody or give something to somebody - เสนอเพื่อให้พิจารณา

plains: a large area of flat land - ที่ราบ

plantation: a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown - ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่

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

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

rally: to join a public meeting that a lot of people go to in order to support someone or protest against someone or something - ชุมนุม

reject: to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ

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

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

schedule: to arrange for something to happen at a particular time - ทำตารางเวลา, ทำกำหนดการ, กำหนดรายการ

section: any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน, ส่วนที่ตัดออก, ส่วนย่อย

security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย

separate: forming a unit by itself; not joined to something else - ซึ่งแยกออกจากกัน

sincerity: (of a person, feelings or behaviour) not pretending or lying; honest - ความจริงใจ, ตรงไปตรงมา

subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้

threaten: to say or indicate that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something - ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว

transfer: to move from one person/thing to another - ส่งผ่าน, ถ่ายทอด

venue: a place where a public event or meeting takes place - สถานที่ชุมนุม

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