Local press reports a convoy of about 500 farm vehicle, with about 1,000 to 2,000 farmers is heading to Bangkok to protest.
(Up-Date 1) They made a u-turn and went back, after assurance they will get money owed to them, but said they will return if did not get fund).
(Up-Date 2) The Election Commission free a large chunk of funds to pay the farmers, as large group of farmers began targeting the commission for protest. The commission however, placed a great deal of condition attached to the OK on funds. The problem is, The government is starting to un-load rice, with large order from China, and other friendly governments and also through the free market. The EC condition, however, means less flexibility for the government to negotiate for better price. Also Fascist Suthep, have lead a group of rice farmers under its control, to lodge cases against the government. Also Standard & Poor said the risk to Thailand’s financial system, as related to the recent bank run, is not because of the rice scheme planned borrowing funds from banks, causing financial risk, but the risk are from politics. Lastly, Fascist Suthep today, went to the Chinese embassy to protest China’s close relation to Yingluck, as China plans to buy about 1 million tonne of Thai rice. This sale and other, are expected to cut the book loss, associated with holding the large stock-pile of rice.)
Most noted that from the picture of the convoy, the convoy is being lead exclusively by farmers driving 10s of Kubota tractors. News is this Thai group of farmers is being lead by a former minister of the people, of a non Pheu Thai Party affiliated. News is the MP says this group of farmers represents farmers from the central plains and are non political. Kubota tractors, is made in Thailand by a xxxxxx linked company. All these farm vehicle also sports the Thai flag, which has become the symbol of Fascist Suthep’s movement to topple Yingluck.
The Yingluck care taker government is having a difficult time, meeting payments to rice farmers under its farm subsidy program.
Prachachart Turakij, Thailand’s best business newspaper, reports “Total Chaos” with the Yingluck care-taker government trying to raise funds to pay rice farmers, and the latest is to issue bonds to small investors (Source). Prachachart says the care-taker government is un-able to secure loans from banks, such as the Government Savings Bank. Other reports say one after another unit, of state related businesses, have refused to buy the bonds.
Currently, the Thai establishment, is attempting to block the care-taker government from securing funds to pay the rice farmers, as a way to create an up-rising with the millions of rice farmers throughout Thailand, as a way to pressure the care-taker government, to cut a deal with the establishment, in allowing for a suspension of democracy, for a so called “Neutral Government.” As a seed to that move, the establishment have called into protest, rice farmers under its control, to protest the government. The seed laying so far, have been able to galvanize about 3,000 rice farmers to protest in Bangkok, such as the Commerce Ministry and reports of future protest at Suwanabhume Airport.
The establishment, in blocking fund to the rice farmers, have mainly done this through a combination of using protest threat from fascist Suthep, of units that agree to offer loan to the care taker government and using its net-work, of mostly labor unions, most of which have long been infiltrated and control by the establishment. Then there is the population.
The credit rating agency, Fitch, said even with the recent bank run, on the Government Savings Bank, by mostly Abhisit supporting Southern Thais and Bangkok Thais, overall Thai financial institutions are resilient. Fitch said however, the risk to Thai financial institutions is increasing, with the rice scheme loan adding un-known to the financial institutions, if they lend to the care taker government.
The care taker government, apart from current funding blockade by the establishment, fundamentally, is having a difficult time meeting its obligations to the rice farmers stemming from limited power associated with being a care-taker government.
While most of the protesting rice farmers are currently “Politicized Rice Farmer” the reality of the situation is that many rice farmers are suffering greatly, even with many, seeing this hard-ship, adding to other hardship, resulting in a string of suicide by rice farmers. Yingluck went on TV, and asked for understanding from the rice farmers, that the funding situation is difficult as it had been politicized.
World Bank said the rice scheme succeeded in raising farmers income and stimulate the economy, but caused damaged in not being able to sell the stock-pile of rice, that was bought from the farmers at higher than global price. Most neutral observer, says the massive dirty local and global news attack on the scheme, by old stake-holders and the press, such as intentionally destroying Thai rice quality with non-factual propaganda, and other such dirty attack, have hurt the government’s attempt to sell rice globally, mostly to friendly government. In fact, even with that dirty attack, the government succeeded in selling enough rice, for Thailand to be the globe’s largest rice exporter, in terms of value exported.
Many neutral observer is curious, with massive farm subsidy going on globally, why so much focus on Thailand’s farm subsidy. However, many other neutral observer says, apart from the politics, old stake holders, and bad journalism, there is the question about the poor of the globe. Rice, is a commodity consumed by most of the poor globe over. These neutral observer says, the Thai government rice scheme, same with other farm subsidy globally, raised the price of food., and in this Thai case of rice, it hurts the globe’s poor people. Yet other argument says, the Thai government responsibility, lies with the Thai people, and rice farmers have been exploited for decades, and remain relatively poor.