Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HM concerned about his people: Army chief

THE NATION November 9, 2011 12:26 pm
HM concerned about his people: Army chief

His Majesty the King is concerned about flood victims and wants to see the deluge drained away soon, Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday.

His Majesty has proffered advice and granted audiences to the government to consult with him, the general said. All Thais, out of gratitude, should express their best wishes for the beloved monarch's quick recovery, he said.

What most people need is assistance during the inundation, especially those having to continue to go to work, he said. The Army has been providing transport services to affected people, though that sometimes wasn't sufficient because it has only 2,000 vehicles, and some have to be rotated for maintenance.

The Army has asked the National Flood Relief Operations Centre for more vehicles.

Food and bottled water distribution can't cover all flood victims. While it is easy to take care of those living in temporary shelters, officials have difficulty in reaching others remaining in their homes in scattered locations. Most complaints come from this group.

Besides implementing policies from above, the Army also initiates its own projects, based on its inquiries into people's problems.

The Army still needs to work on water management, people management for transport and meals, promotion of the maximum use of flood relief items, and integration of state agencies to tackle issues.

Everyone in politics, the Armed Forces, police force and the public must work together to do their jobs. The Army isn't the sole hero. It is just well equipped with manpower and tools, which can be commanded due to its relationship within the military, Prayuth said.

Post-flood rehabilitation - with the government in charge - should comprise short-, mid- and long-term plans. They should include solutions for unemployment and household income.

The Army will gather information and make suggestions, but won't interfere with each ministry's work, he added.
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