Rubber farmers violent & disruptive protest tapers off, situation sensitive & volatile (Up-Date 10)

Abhisit Vejjajiva - World Economic Forum Annua...

Abhisit Vejjajiva – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Abhisit Vejjajiva - World Economic Forum Annua...

Abhisit Vejjajiva – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Thailand‘s rubber farmers protest, to the extent that dangerous gas truck was used to block roads, that have disrupted communications to Thailand southern region, where days ago was threatening to do the same all over Thailand, has tapered off. Rubber farmers in other regions of Thailand have took a wait and see attitude to what the Yingluck government will do, to lessen their hardship from falling global rubber prices. That leaves the Southern region rubber farmers, itself is fracture into those who will wait to see Yingluck’s actions and those planning to up their protest. Thailand’s Southern region is the strong-hold of the opposition Abhisit Dems party, and the party’s MPs have been seen at the rubber protest, instigating protest, while its leaders in Bangkok, propagate to the mostly pro Abhisit press, that the Abhisit’s Dems are not involved. Inside the Thai parliament, after years of Abhisit Dems attacking Yingluck’s rice subsidy, for a variety of reasons, such as costing too much and being anti market force, including being part of Thaksin‘s evil populous policy, inside parliament, Abhist Dems now demand the same as rice farmers, for the rubber farmers. The situation, while has taper off, is still highly sensitive and volatile. A poll of the Thais days ago, sees most Thais want Yingluck to treat all farmers, with the same level of support. Yingluck, since coming to power, has already partially subsidized rubber, bought at high price and the rubber stock, like rice, is massive. Yingluck have promised more financial support to rubber farmers, close to a US$800 million, but that has not placate the rubber farmers, increasingly, becoming a political tool of Abhisit’s Dems. Yingluck, meanwhile said even that by Thai laws, protesters can not close down roads with dangerous gas trucks, and disrupt major communications arteries, that she will seek to negotiate with the rubber farmers, and her ministers, have openly called on Abhisit’s Dems to stop inciting protester. Abhisit’s Dems have recently make a new strategic move, saying it will take its political action, outside Parliament, and to the streets of Thailand. With the global economy, in an early stage of a recovery, commodity prices, such as rubber, have fallen in price. Of the situation, most neutral observer says, the rubber farmers has the right to protest, but it must be in the boundary of the law and that, it is unfortunate, the the protest is turning more political, as Yingluck will have to address the situation, not as an economic hardship situation, but increasingly a political situation.

(Up-Date 1) A couple of rubber farmers have been shot and killed, with police and eye witnesses saying it was about a fight among the rubber farmers themselves. But the farmers are using the death to fan their emotion, blaming the government. Also more Abhisit’s Dems MPs are now directly involved in leading the protesters. Meanwhile Yingluck is still stressing negotiation, and have made a new offer to the rubber farmers, not meeting the rubber farmers demands. Today, there were several protest in Southern Thailand, blocking roads. But the number of the protesters, at this stage, is not great, and have fallen short of what the protesters leaders said they will be able to muster. Rubber farmers in the other parts of Thailand have mostly went no protest.

(Up-Date 2) The rubber farmers, are now threatening to take-over, one of the airport, in Southern Thailand. The Thai government says they will not allow the closure of the airport. The Thai police says the are preparing the legal cases, against the protester leaders who have broke the law. There are some mixed news, about the tactics the protesters are using, with some news says some protesters, against communications disruption, splinting off. There are also mixed news, about the progress of the negotiations, between the government and the protesters, with another negotiation round set. Some reports say the protesters have called for a break to their protest. Other reports say the protesters are consolidating to a few locations.

(Up-Date 3) The first round of negotiations between the government and the rubber farmers have reached no agreement, but Yingluck have set up a body to further negotiate with the rubber farmers. There are mixed reports, that many rubber farmers are satisfied with the government’s offer, but in areas that the Abhisit’s Dems have great influences, the rubber farmers are becoming increasingly irate, so much that after threatening to close down an airport, they now threaten to close down Thailand’s rubber trade, and turn the movement, from protesting about rubber price, to a movement to topple Yingluck. Some neutral observer says, that was the game play from the start.

(Up-Date 4) A group of protesters, trying to move to block a road, wet with a line of police protecting the road, and the protesters threw rocks and acid at the police, injuring about 25 police. At this point, no report yet of injured protesters.

(Up-Date 5) A team of negotiator from Yingluck met with the leaders of the rubber farmers and no agreement was reached, with the government offering a subsidy support at 90 baht and the rubber farmers demanding 95 baht, with both sides, levying accusations of dirty negotiation tactics at the other, and that the other side was not sincere. Leaving the negotiation table, the reality of the situation, according to most reports, is that many rubber farmers are satisfied with the offer and that there will be another protest gathering, with the protesters, saying it will be more intense. On a humorous side of the whole thing, Abhisit Dems, after letting his MPs fan the protesters emotions to the extremist level, tells Yingluck to negotiate with the protesters, so, quote, “So the situation will not get out of hand.” lol

(Up-Date 6) The government is standing firm on 90 baht subsidy support level, many rubber farmers accepts the offer, others are pressing on with their demands. At this point, many are convinced it is now a political issues. However, political or not, many Thais still want the best price for the rubber farmers, and hope everyone will end up happy about the situation.

(Up-Date 7) Well, most neutral observer now says Yingluck has a full blown political movement, the rubber farmers protest, on her hands. Responding to Abhisit’s statement that the rubber farmers protest is a model for Thailand, one of Yingluck’s MPs says Abhisit is addicted to violence and disruption, as the rubber farmers protest have been both. The mostly pro Democracy group, Red Shirts, have also made a second statement, the first one, being that the rubber farmers is about toppling Yingluck, now another says, the rubber farmers, are following the example of the Yellow Shirts, where the Yellow Shirts protest closed down, such places as, airports. The rubber farmers protest, while many have accepted the government’s offer, other says they will close down Thailand’s Souther region.

(Up-Date 8) The news on the rubber protest, making big front page lead in most Thai newspapers for weeks, have mostly went to the back-burner. The government up its subsidy offer with a cap at 25 rai in area, and most rubber farmers are satisfied, leaving still, however, some die hard, that have been politicized.

(Up-Date 9) While most rubber farmers have accepted the government’s subsidy plan, some have went protesting again, cutting off some roads in Southern Thailand.

(UP-Date 10) Police and protesters clashed, with about 20 police injured, many from being attacked with acid from protesters, and 10 police cars torched. At this point, no report yet of injured protesters.


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