ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs 1 November 2011
Residents of Bangkok’s suburbs are growing weary of inundation from flood waters and in some cases are taking things into their own hands by destroying barriers and demanding that sluice gates to be opened more widely.
The issues have also caused friction between Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the opposition Democrat party and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai party that carried the July 3 general election.
Yesterday Ms.Yingluck told city officials to allow more water to flow through the Sam Wa canal, appeasing thousands of residents who have held protests in the flooded northeastern part of the capital.
Rainfall was 42 percent more than average this year and filled dams north of Bangkok to capacity, prompting authorities to release more than 9 billion cubic meters of water.
Bangkok and its environs account for about half of Thailand’s industrial output, according to official statistics.
It is still uncertain what the cost will be to the Thai economy but some economists feel that it could reach as high as $US 10 billion equaling 2 to 3 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product.
The Bank of Thailand The central bank last week reduced its economic growth forecast for 2011 to 2.6 percent from 4.1 percent after floods swamped almost 10,000 factories.
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