farmers, truck drivers and bus owners protesting against rising fuel costs.

Bangkok has been the scene of frequent protests that have added to the city’s notorious traffic jams. The protests are taking place despite government promises to continue subsidising fuel against the advice of oil companies which are chalking up huge losses.

The government has also announced it is preparing to give out cash grants for the poor to pay for food and fuel.

Thailand is not alone in experiencing the pain of rising oil prices. Widespread protests are also taking place across Asia including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.

US crude futures have risen more than 40% to US$142 a barrel since the start of the year.