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“We Fight for Democracy and Justice”- Red Shirt Villagers Speak Out

Thai Red Shirts (TRS) recently traveled to the Khon Kaen province in the North-Eastern region of Isaan to hear from Red Shirt villagers themselves.

The villagers shared their thoughts on everything from the rice pledging program, to revoking Abhisit’s university degree from Oxford.

TRS: Why did you first get involved in the Red Shirt movement? What was the main issue?

We were appalled by the coup in 2006. The amaat refused to accept the people’s choice. The vast majority of us are Thaksin supporters, about 95%, and we started seriously mobilizing in 2008 when we came to Bangkok as Red Shirts to join in the protests.

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Farmers send Message to Academics: When it comes to Rice, We know Better

Up to 1,000 farmers and Red Shirt activists gathered outside the National Institute Development Administration (NIDA) on Tuesday to protest what they perceive as an assault on their livelihoods by 146 academics, who petitioned the Constitutional Court to terminate the Pheu Thai government’s rice-pledging program. Despite such threats of judicial interference, the government has just approved a total budget of 240 billion baht for 15 million tons of rice to be harvested this month, with prices at 15,000-20,000 baht per tonne, depending on quality.

The group of students and professors, led by NIDA academic Adis Isrankul na Ayutthaya, accuse the program of violating articles 43 and 84 of the military-backed Constitution of 2007, which stipulate that the government should promote “fair and free competition… and [an] equitable economy through market forces.” However, the Constitutional Court has rejected the petition, since it failed to identify the charter articles that would grant the court jurisdiction on the matter. A revised petition is almost certain to be issued shortly.

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