Former Democrat MP Warong Dechgitvigrom urged the government to investigate whether the event last Friday in Ubon Ratchathani when former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra reportedly bought rice from farmers at an average of 20 baht/kg was staged with an intention to discredit and destabilise the government.
In the statement posted in his Facebook page, Warong said the government must find out the truth about the event and then clarify to the people so that confidence in the Hom Mali rice market will be restored.
The Democrat said he was told by Ubon Ratchani residents that the event was staged because, in the following day after Ms Yingluck's visit of the farmers, they went to the same venue in order to buy rice from farmers and there were no farmers there to sell rice.
On the claim by Ms Yingluck that she bought 10 tonnes of rice from farmers and her former Pheu Thai MPs who accompanied her bought another 10 tonnes, he said that they definitely did not buy directly from farmers because the packaging appeared to be the type used by big rice millers for distributing to their customers locally and abroad.
Selling rice at 20 baht/kg while the market prices range from 30-35 baht/kg amounts to cold-blooded price suppression, said Warong. Citing Ms Yingluck's claim in her Facebook that the rice she bought from farmers was not graded was impossible because farmers didn't normally grade their rice.
The Democrat also urged the government to find out whether the farmers who showed up to welcome Ms Yingluck were real farmers and whether the rice bought by the ex-prime minister and her party members were actually bought from farmers or from rice millers.
He noted that the truth about where she bought the rice was important if it was found out that she actually bought from millers, it meant that she lied to the people.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)