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Farmers from the lower north and the central regions of Thailand are heading towards Bangkok in several hundred farm trucks. Tens of thousands of farmers are making the trip to the capital to demand immediate payment for their rice. The first group arrived this afternoon and joined their colleagues at the Commerce Ministry.
Reportedly there is a large convoy of farmers riding in the E-tan and E-tek farm trucks that move as solely as 20 kilometers and hour. Their convoy of over a hundred of farm trucks brought inbound traffic on the Phaholyothin to a standstill as they travel on all lanes.
The farmers from Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Lopburi, Ang Thong, Singburi, are all heading to Bangkok from various meeting points but with the one destination, the Commerce Ministry, however along the way they have met some resistance from red-shirt supporters .
In Lopburi a former ruling Pheu Thai party MP Phichai Kiatvinaisakul and a number of red-shirts urged them not to protest in Bangkok. He accused farmers of being a tool of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). But when farmers told them they just went to demand their money and nothing to do with politics, the angry former Pheu Thai party MP cursed and expelled farmers out of Lopburi.
Along the way to Bangkok, police set up several checkpoints along the Phaholyoth and Asian Highway to prevent clashes between farmers and red-shirt supporters of the government who wanted to stop them.
The first group of 2,000 farmers from Nakhon Sawan and Uthai Thani are expected to arrive in Bangkok late this afternoon.
Central farmers from Uthai Thani and Lopburi started their long march yesterday to join their colleagues now already in Bangkok. They came from 400 villages in Uthai Thani on in E-tan, E-tek farm trucks to a meeting point at the Otop centre in Muang Uthai Thani district before starting the long journey together to Bangkok.