Thai rubber farmers accept government deal, call off next protest
BANGKOK (AFP) - A network of Thai rubber farmers said on Tuesday that it had accepted a government subsidy offer aimed at ending recent mass protests that erupted into violence last week.
Thailand is the world's top exporter of natural rubber and anger among the kingdom's rubber farmers over their falling incomes had posed a growing challenge to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's two-year-old government.
Deputy government spokesman Sunisa Lertpakawat said the cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget of 21.25 billion baht (S$842 million) to subsidise rubber farmers.
"Today's decision comes ahead of a mass rally by rubber farmers (this weekend) which could severely affect the economy," Ms Sunisa told a news conference.