Angry and unpaid, Thai farmers poised for airport protest
Published on Feb 21, 2014 10:34 AM
BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thousands of Thai farmers threatened to head for Bangkok's main airport in their tractors on Friday in protest against non-payment in a controversial rice subsidy scheme, heaping pressure on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.
The rice programme was among the populist policies pioneered by Ms Yingluck's billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister central to a conflict that has divided Thais for years and triggered protests, violent at times, that have paralysed parts of the capital for weeks.
It was not immediately clear what the farmers planned to do at the airport or how long they would stay, but the convoy evoked memories of 2008 when anti-Thaksin protesters blockaded Bangkok's airports and held crippling rallies against two Thaksin-backed governments.
"We are not sure where we will set up camp, but we will not leave the capital until we are paid for every grain of rice sold," former member of parliament Chada Thaiseth said on Thursday.
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