CHIANG RAI – About 1,000 farmers gathered outside city hall in Chiang Rai and demanded immediate payment for their long-overdue subsidy. Protest leader Theethawat Sitthisom said the rally was peaceful and not linked to the PDRC movement.
The head of the Chiang Rai commerce office, Chalermphol Phongchababnapha, told farmers he had learnt that the caretaker government was trying to obtain a loan of Bt130 billion before the Bt2.93 billion owed to local farmers could be paid.
Separately, staff members of certain Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives branches wore black yesterday to protest against the caretaker government’s alleged attempt to take over BAAC-owned assets in order to subsidise its controversial, loss-making rice-pledging scheme.
Meanwhile, in Chiang Rai, local groups and the Chiang Rai United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) were also holding candle-lighting activities in support of peace and an election, and to call on the Bangkok shutdown protesters to respect the law. The group then released flying lanterns to float away the nation’s troubles.