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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     14-15 November  2011

Ban Ki-moon to visit flood affected Thailand

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in Thailand on 16 November 2011 (Wednesday) to meet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and meet United Nations officials and personnel in Bangkok as part of a three-country visit to Southeast Asia, according to a UN statement.

In the statement released here on Monday, the United Nations ESCAP said that the Secretary-General will be received by Prime Minister Yingluck at Government House where they will make a joint statement and take questions at 1.50pm in the Purple Room of the Thai Koo Fah Building.

The Secretary-General plans to visit flood-affected areas in Bangkok.

While in the Thai capital, he will also deliver a keynote address at meeting on universal health coverage at the United Nations Conference Centre. The closed meeting is expected to be attended by Thailand’s minister of public health, health experts, civil society, diplomats and others.

The UN chief's visit also came in the wake of Thailand's worst recorded flooding. The kingdom’s Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) reported that as of Monday the floods which began in August have claimed 562 lives, and two persons are missing.

More than five million Thais have been affected in the nationwide flooding, with 22 provinces, including a number of districts of the capital, still under water. The floods,  however, have begun receding in many areas.

Severe flooding damaged 11,200,000 rai of farmland, 252 roads in dozens of provinces, and disrupted train services and land transport in flood-hit areas.

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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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