Officials of the Government Lottery Office (GLO) were abruptly sent home yesterday after Luangpu Phra Buddha Issara led farmers on a siege of their office.
The monk demanded that the GLO use money raised from lottery sales to buy 100 tonnes of rice from farmers or at least fix the results of the next lottery draw to be the licence-plate number of the truck carrying the rice. He wants GLO to pay the farmers at least Bt12,000 (S$472) per tonne of rice.
After failing to get a definitive answer, the monk had the rice dumped in front of the office and got protesters to surround all the gates, at which time the GLO officials were sent home.
The monk led a procession of vehicles including trucks carrying 100 tonnes of rice from the Chaeng Wattana rally site at 9am.
Phra Buddha Issara was later met by GLO chief legal officer Winai Wutthidet, who told him that director Atthakij Thareechat was away on an overseas trip, but promised to raise the demands with the board of directors.
However, the monk insisted on having the trucks dump the rice in front of the complex and vowed to return until the farmers' demands are met.