News / Asia

US Pledges Support, Flood Aid to Thailand

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra shows U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) the way during their meeting at the Government House in Bangkok November 16, 2011.
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra shows U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) the way during their meeting at the Government House in Bangkok November 16, 2011.
Daniel Schearf

The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged support in Bangkok for Thailand's political reconciliation efforts and announced more than $10 million in aid for flood relief. The show of support came as Thai media reported the government is seeking amnesty for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a divisive leader who is living in exile to avoid corruption charges.

Clinton reaffirmed backing Wednesday for Thailand and the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shiniwatra as it is contending with its worst flooding in decades.

Hundreds have been killed, tens of thousands forced to flee their homes, and a quarter of the country swamped.

After arriving in Bangkok in the late afternoon for a short visit on her way to Indonesia, Clinton announced an additional $10 million of direct aid, materials, and training for flood relief.

She said a major focus of the aid package was to help Thai authorities to re-open Bangkok's Don Muang airport. It is the second most important airport and was originally the base for flood relief operations, but was itself flooded and had to be shut down.

Clinton spoke at a joint press conference after a half hour meeting with Ms. Yingluck and expressed support for her administration.

“I recognize, that these floods pose an early and serious challenge to the new Thai government and to the hard won peace that the Thai people achieved after the political violence that you have endured in recent years," said Clinton. "The United States stands firmly behind the civilian government of Thailand and the work it is doing to consolidate strong democratic institutions, ensure good governance, guarantee the rule of law, and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Clinton said Thailand also can count on U.S. support for the country's political reconciliation process, calling it critical to Thailand's long term stability and security.

Thailand has been in political turmoil since the military in 2006 ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, from power sparking sometimes violent protests between his opponents and supporters.

Last year clashes in Bangkok between the military and Thaksin-supporting Red Shirts left 90 people dead, most of them civilians.

The country has calmed down somewhat since then and an election this year that brought the Thaksin-supporting Pheu Thai party and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra to power. Prime Minister Yingluck on Wednesday called the election a return to democracy in Thailand.

“With reconciliation and stabilities, good governance and transparence, universally acceptable rule of law, I believe we are regaining the confidence of Thai people and the world,” said Yingluck.

But critics maintain Prime Minister Yingluck is merely a puppet of her brother, who fled the country in 2008 to avoid a jail term for corruption charges.

Thai media Wednesday reported the government planned to seek a general amnesty for convicts next month that would allow Thaksin to return home without serving a sentence.

Thaksin's return to Thailand could spark another round of turmoil and anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Yingluck declined to comment directly on the reports, saying only that any amnesty would have to comply with the law and apply to everyone equally.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid