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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     26 October  2011

Thai Flood Update-October 26

PM warns Bangkok
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra warned Bangkok residents in all areas last night to brace for flooding after advancing runoff from the north of Bangkok surged into Don Mueang airport yesterday.
The prime minister conceded existing floodwalls and water embankments might not be able to withstand the massive inundation and said there was a strong chance the flood will penetrate central and inner zones of the capital.
"The highest risk will be areas along the Chao Phraya River and the floodwalls along the banks. The flood level will depend on how well we can manage the water flow," she said on television.

House meeting canceled
House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont has decided to call off a meeting of the House of Representatives scheduled for today because of the floods, his spokesman Wattana Sengpairoh said on Wednesday. The meeting was to discuss the floods.
Mr Wattana  said Mr. Somsak decided  to do so after consultations with all concerned including Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Pheu Thai MPs. It was difficult for MPs to travel to Bangkok for the meeting.

Pattaya flooded with Bangkokians
Reports are that the seaboard resort of Pattaya, about two hours east of  Bangkok, is filled with loads of Bangkok folks escaping the floods that are expected thit the inner city through this weekend.
High-end hotels, restaurants and establishments catering to Thais are doing a brisk business.

Thai chamber: “protect Bangkok”
The Thai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday issued a statement calling on the government to try its best to protect Bangkok from floods.
TCC chairman Pongsak Assakul said if the capital is inundated, it will severely affect confidence of foreign investors, not to mention about a problem of international communication difficulty.
The statement of TCC asked: Put utmost effort in the prevention of Bangkok flooding as it is the centre for business and communication with overseas trade partners, provide flood information in the English language as well as Thai. (English is the second official language of Thailand and coordinate with the private sector to ensure sufficient supplies of consumer goods and accessibility to the necessities of people.

US ships leave
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier left Thailand without deploying an air lift service for Thai flood victims yesterday because the US assessed that flood situations in the country are not serious enough, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
The ministry's spokesman Thani Thongphakdi, who is also director-general of the Information Department, said yesterday that the United States considered that present flood situations were not dangerous so its aircraft carrier could not deploy helicopters.

US investment solid
The US government and American investors would continue investing in Thailand despite it being hard hit by devastating floods, US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney said on Wednesday.
The US ambassador made the statement after visiting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra at the Flood Relief Operations Centre at Don Mueang airport this morning.
She was accompanied by a number of US investors who have interests in Thailand, according to the reports.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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