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ผมเอาบทความข่าว 2 ชิ้นมาให้ท่านลองอ่านดูข้างล่างนี้  ชิ้นแรก เรื่อง  ANALYSIS: Floods and politics เขียนโดยคุณ Didier Lauras ผู้สื่อข่าว AFP,  ชิ้นที่สอง เรื่อง The politics behind Thailand's floods เขียนโดยคุณ  Thitinan Pongsudhirak  ลงพิมพ์ใน guardian.co.uk  

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ANALYSIS: Floods and politics
by Didier Lauras, Agence France-Presse
Published: 30/10/2011 at 02:37 PM
แหล่งข่าว: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/263906/analysis-floods-and-politics
BANGKOK - Thailand's battle against its worst floods in decades has spilled into the political arena, underscoring the deep divisions that linger more than a year after deadly civil unrest rocked the kingdom. ANALYSIS by Didier Lauras, Agence France-Presse

Efforts to prepare the capital for looming floodwaters have been plagued by contradictory messages from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government and local authorities, both seeking to score political points, observers said.

The sense of disunity during the slow-motion catastrophe has doused hopes the crisis might bring rival political factions together following years of instability since royalist generals overthrew Yingluck's brother in 2006.

"This is no longer just an issue of natural disaster. It has become a ferocious political game," said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thailand expert at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

"This competition, even during the height of the crisis, unveils a reality in Thailand: this is a deeply fragmented society in which political ideologies have overshadowed public responsibility and the urgency for national survival."

The crisis has proved a major test for the country's new leader Yingluck, who came to power just two months ago helped by the popularity of her brother -- ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra -- among poor Thais in rural areas.

Now it is the very people who voted for Yingluck's Pheu Thai party who are suffering the most during the monsoon crisis, which has killed more than 380 people so far and affected millions in the north and the east of the country.

Conflicting statements from political enemies have rattled anxious residents, leaving many struggling to make sense of which Bangkok districts are most at risk and how best to cope with the rising waters.

"It's very confusing to know exactly who has the facts, and who really knows what to do," said Aswin Kongsiri, a Thai businessman on the board of several companies and the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Open power struggles between Yingluck, a political novice, and Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra from the rival Democrat Party have done little to reassure the public.

Once it became clear that the mass of water slowly pushing its way out to sea would not avoid Bangkok, the traditional heartland of the Democrats, Yingluck and the Bangkok governor quickly crossed swords.

"Listen to me and only me. I will tell you when to evacuate," Sukhumbhand told the city in mid-October.

Yingluck quickly hit back. "I want the Bangkok governor to work to his best ability and I don't want to hear this is under Bangkok authority," she said, stressing that the government's flood relief centre was in charge.

The crisis has also highlighted the strained relationship between Yingluck and the military, which traditionally supports the Democrats and has a notoriously bad relationship with Thaksin and his "Red Shirt" supporters.

Yingluck refused calls from the opposition to declare a state of emergency that would have given greater powers to army chief Prayut Chan-o-Cha.

Pro-Thaksin media have even warned of a possible "water coup" by the army, which has a long record of intervening in politics and broke up mass street protests by the Reds in early 2010, leaving more than 90 people dead.

While the generals are unlikely to use the disaster to justify a coup, the military appears to be "looking to stop the flooding without cooperating with the Yingluck government", said Paul Chambers, director of research at the Southeast Asian Institute of Global Studies at Payap University in Chiang Mai.

"Clearly the anti-Thaksin military leadership is not sympathetic to a pro-Thaksin prime minister."

While experts say the Thai floods have been exacerbated by years of environmental mismanagement and poorly controlled urban development, questions have been raised over the government's response to the floods.

"I put a lot of blame on the civil servants actually," said Aswin, the businessman, pointing out that there are "at least five or six major government agencies" in charge of dealing with water issues.

Thailand's businesswoman-turned-premier has also come under fire, with critics accusing Yingluck of indecisiveness.

As the blame game continues, Thailand's political divide looks set to linger long after the floodwaters have gone.

"This game is nasty... it will be nastier when the water recedes," said Pavin in Singapore, anticipating efforts by the establishment forces arrayed against Yingluck and Thaksin to undermine her government in the coming months.


The politics behind Thailand's floods
Submerging the rest of the Chao Phraya river basin to secure Bangkok is a mirror image of Thailand's political crisis

by Thitinan Pongsudhirak
guardian.co.uk,     Friday 21 October 2011 22.00 BST
แหล่งข่าว: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/21/thailand-floods-bangkok
Thai residents evacuate their houses on a flooding main street in Pathum Thani province near Bangkok, Thailand. Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Inaccurate information, poor management and nature have all combined to unleash one of Thailand's worst floods in decades. When the newly elected government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra took office in early August, it wasted no time in rolling out populist policies catered to its up-country supporters, putting in motion the legacy of Yingluck's brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in a military coup five years ago and later convicted and exiled for corruption.

The jury is out on Yingluck's leadership and her ability to pull Thailand through the ongoing deluge. Whether and how she bounces back from this flooding crisis will define her premiership.

To be sure, floods are not uncommon in Thailand's low-lying central provinces just north of Bangkok, the country's traditional "rice bowl". These provinces have also spawned manufacturing estates for multinational companies in recent decades. Severe floods also beset the central plains and Bangkok in 1983 and 1995, with 1942 the most catastrophic. But the cost of each flood has risen dramatically over the years, as the Thai economy has become more developed.

Early rainfall this year, intensified by a string of monsoonal storms, should have prompted early release of waters in the country's main upstream dams along the Chao Phraya river, the main waterway through the central region descending on Bangkok before it reaches the sea.

But the dams did not release enough water to accommodate the monsoons. When the dam gates gushed in earnest, torrential downpours came, thereby submerging adjacent provinces. The damage to farms and factories is likely to cost several billion pounds.

The government's response was initially inept. Different ministers issued different warnings. Inter-agency conflicts and lack of policy co-ordination were rife. Yingluck delegated and skirted around tough decisions. Her strengths of patience and even temperament became her weaknesses.

Information was not centralised and reliable. The saturation and sensationalism of television images on a constant news cycle made the public edgier. Yingluck has shifted gear and appears more in charge, having invoked additional laws to give her government more authority short of declaring a state of emergency, which would give the army more powers.

The floods also have underlined Thailand's urban-rural divide which has underpinned a broader national polarisation and conflict since Thaksin's departure. Downstream provinces were awash in order to divert waters away from central Bangkok. The Thai capital was kept mostly dry at the expense of its surrounding areas.

Bangkok's omnipotence is partly justifiable as it harbours some 40% of GDP as well as being the residence of movers and shakers in Thai society and the yoke of the economy. Yet submerging the rest of the Chao Phraya river basin to secure Bangkok is a mirror image of Thailand's political crisis pitting the well-heeled urban elites against the hapless downtrodden elsewhere.

Moreover, the governor of Bangkok happens to hail from the opposition Democrat party. Unsurprisingly, Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra's priorities differ from Yingluck's. Unless the rains lighten, this trade-off between saving the capital to see its adjacent provinces suffer may prove futile.

If Bangkok shares some of the flooding, economic damage will mount but a sense of equality and justice will prevail. When the floods go through the capital, they will find faster release into the Gulf of Thailand.

Yingluck's learning curve will have to steepen quickly. This flooding crisis has enabled her to carve out some autonomy away from her impatient and blustery brother. Managing the floods requires a day-to-day, hands-on operation that precludes the involvement of Thaksin.

But the challenge for Yingluck will come during the recovery and rebuilding aftermath. If ways can be found to institute a broad-based, post-crisis stimulus programme, she may not need her brother's populism as much, and Thai economic growth can still clock a solid expansion with minimal slowdown in spite of global adversity. If her leadership is drowned out by the same floodwaters, her brother's enemies and opponents will directly become hers.