Rubber farmers threatens to seal off all southern city halls

In another pressure mounted on the Yingluck government, rubber farmers late today threatened to seal off all the southern city halls if their demands for higher rubber prices were not met.

The latest threat came after they met government representative Pol Maj-Gen Thawat Boonfueng, deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister, at Surat Thani airport today.

The famers insisted on their earlier demands of 92 baht for raw sheet rubber, 101 baht for smoked sheet rubber, 81 baht for cup rubber and 83 baht for latex.

If these demands were not met, protest would be upgrade to blocking entrances to all  city halls of the southern provinces.

Meanwhile at the Agricultural Cooperatives Office in Surat Thani, protesters remained on the Asia highway blocking both inbound and outbound traffic with ten-wheel trucks. The blockade puts traffic at a standstill on the Asia 41 highway. Protesters are still gathering inside the Co-Op office to await outcome of their representatives’ negotiation with the government representative.

Local police said that traffic to Surat Thani airport is still unaffected by the protest as there are several road access to the airport which remain unclosed but under heavy guarding by anti-riot police.

In Bangkok, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Yukol Limlaengthong said he was waiting for the result of the talk between the prime minister’s deputy secretary-general and the farmers in Surat Thani and was uncertain  if the farmer representatives would be willing to a meeting with him at the Chaengwattana government center this afternoon or not.

He said that the government representative was conveying the subsidy offers endorsed yesterday by the cabinet to inform the farmer protesters in Surat Thani.

He was optimistic that the  subsidy and other other measures approved yesterday were good solution that should be accepted by farmers.