Southbound road blocked for nearly a week

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PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, Nov 1 – Angry rubber farmers from 16 southern provinces continued their closure of Petchkasem Road for the sixth day to call on the government to pledge support for the falling rubber price.

As farmers rallied, a southbound train was stopped for more than two hours and a team of bomb experts removed a homemade bomb from the rail tracks about 2 km from Bang Saphan station in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Protesters felled trees across the road in Bang Saphan Noi district yesterday, blocking traffic there, after police failed to disperse them.

Motorists were forced to use a smaller road parallel to Petchkasem Road but it was too narrow for large trucks.

Meanwhile, more than 300 village leaders in Prachuap Khiri Khan met with the provincial governor to call on the authorities to urgently reopen Petchkasem Road.

Suntorn Rakrong, adviser to the network of rubber and oil palm farmers, said the road blockade would benefit the government as it obstructed people from 14 southern provinces who were heading for Bangkok to join anti-government protests

He claimed that the village leaders who disagreed with the rally were linked to the ruling Pheu Thai Party.