'Biased' journalists blocked from rally site

THAILAND - Rubber farmers protesting in Nakhon Si Thammarat yesterday refused to allow reporters to enter their rally site.

Nation News Agency reporter Kritsana Thiwatsirikul said this was the first time that protesters had barred journalists from accessing a rally site. According to Kritsana, the farmers believe journalists have filed biased reports that favour the police. Some rubber farmers also believe journalists have reported artificially low attendance figures for the rallies.

Kritsana said that this was the first time he and his colleagues had felt endangered and threatened when reporting at a rally site, adding that safety fears forced them to approach the protest camp as a group.

Channel 3 reporter Thapanee Ietsrichai tweeted: "Rubber farmer leaders don't allow reporters to go to the rally site and could not guarantee our security, because they see reporters as [not] reporting [accurate] news".