Further updated: Floods, Prayuth and Abhisit

29 10 2010

A few days ago, PPT made some comments about Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government’s response – or lack of it and incompetence – to the massive floods that have inundated large parts of Thailand and especially its rural areas.

There are now almost 100 confirmed deaths. The Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand reported: “It’s likely that the toll could rise further as the flooding is still severe…. The authorities estimate that 4.2 million people have been affected, with homes submerged and farmland or cattle destroyed, mostly in central and [north] eastern areas.” Further, since 20 October – the flooding began 10 October – some “229,398 people have sought medical treatment.

In this context of a national disaster, what are the main government leaders doing? Here we mean the prime minister and his shadow leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army boss.

Abhisit, who has spent time on royal ceremonies is now off to the ASEAN-China’ meeting in Hanoi. We imagine that some will argue that this meeting is “important” and that Abhisit needs to be at an event that seldom ever amounts to much. Maybe, but he canceled several visits during the March-May when he faced down and smashed the red shirts.

Prayuth has been visiting Malaysia. But even when he’s in Thailand, his concern is about red shirts and republicans.

One gets the impression that killing red shirts is important and people drowning, homeless, injured and with little chance of recovering their damaged crops. The ruling elite’s view of what is important is absolutely clear and their ruthlessness is again demonstrated.

Update 1: A similar situation in Indonesia is debated in the media.President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono flew back to Indonesia to visit victims of a tsunami off Sumatra and then returned to Hanoi.

Update 2: The Bangkok Post reports that the government’s flood relief efforts are riddled with corruption.The Public Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) reports that “five teams of investigators would head to flood-hit provinces to ensure transparency in flood relief spending. Their focus will be on provinces that require funds of 50-100 million baht as emergency assistance for flood victims.” The PACC has found that “less than 10% of disaster relief funds reached those in need.” Further, “of 373 randomly checked flood projects, 274 had irregularities costing the state more than 50 million baht…”.



3 responses

29 10 2010
Tweets that mention Floods, Prayuth and Abhisit « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร, NEWSpace. NEWSpace said: Floods, Prayuth and Abhisit: A few days ago, PPT made some comments about Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his… http://bit.ly/90Rs60 […]

1 11 2010
Floods and politics « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Thailand since about 10 October. We mentioned the incompetence of the government. We also noted the corruption involved in the allocation of relief. We have also commented, in the same post, on the way in which the leaders of the current regime […]

4 11 2010
Abhisit on flood relief « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] government and their inept response to Thailand’s huge flooding emergency (see here, here, here and here). Criticism is now […]

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