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Thai PM’s backers prevent anti-corruption committee from accusing Shinawatra of negligence

February 27, 2014, 12:14 UTC+3
The Anti-Corruption Committee believes that the authorities’ actions have led to serious losses for the state budget
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© AP/TASS TV

BANGKOK, February 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Supporters of the current government in Thailand who call themselves ‘Red Shirts’, have blocked access to the house of the National Anti-Corruption Committee that planned to bring official accusations of negligence to acting prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday.

On Wednesday, hundreds of government’s supporters used padlocks and a chain to close all entrances to the National Anti-Corruption Committee located in the city of Nonthaburi adjacent to Bangkok. On Thursday, the Red Shirts continued to block the building, repeating the strategy of their political rivals. Anti-government protesters are sabotaging the state agencies’ work for already four months, surrounding the buildings of ministries and state offices.

Huge traffic jams emerged in the neighborhood of the National Anti-Corruption Committee building. However, the police do not take any actions against the pro-government protesters.

Yingluck Shinawatra who was summoned to the National Anti-Corruption Committee session to face accusations told journalists that she intended to send her representatives instead. The cabinet’s head is currently on a working trip in the Chiang Mai province in the north of the country. She repeatedly stated that she was not guilty and expressed suspicions that the case “too rapidly reviewed by the committee” could be politically motivated.

In 2011, Thai government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra introduced the system of state collateral rice purchase from farmers at rates that significantly exceed market prices. Thailand is one of the global leaders in rice production, and such methods of regulation in agriculture, economists believe, have led to major losses for the country. However, they helped the current government to gain support among the marginal population that engages in producing this culture.

The Anti-Corruption Committee believes that the authorities’ actions have led to serious losses for the state budget. The rice, purchased at excessive prices, is spoiling in storage facilities, since the government couldn’t guarantee its sale. In addition, the state accumulated a debt to agricultural producers exceeding $4 billion.

In compliance with the Thai legislation, after its own hearings the Anti-Corruption Committee may pass the case to the court with demands to suspend Yingluck Shinawatra from her duties.

Meanwhile, the situation on the streets of Bangkok on Wednesday night for the first time in three days was relatively calm, without long shootouts and mass clashes of anti-government protesters with those who carry out a guerilla against the oppositionists. The only incident was reported late at night on Wednesday. Three blasts were heard in the Thai capital. Grenades exploded near the TV station of the national broadcaster Thai PBS and near the office of the Center for Administration of Peace and Order that coordinates the actions of law enforcers in Bangkok. No one was hurt.

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