19 Nov '11, 3am

Floods help Thai army clean up reputation

BANGKOK: While Thailand's government has come under fire for its handling of the floods crisis, the military's relief efforts have restored its own reputation, analysts say -- and boosted its political clout. The army has plunged huge resources into helping Thais cope with the kingdom's worst floods in decades: 55,000 soldiers on the ground, 5,000 vehicles clearing paths through flooded roads and 3,000 boats. In doing so, they quietly repaired an image battered by a crackdown on political protests in Bangkok last year that ended in bloodshed. Army chief General Prayut Chan-o-Cha has even laid on the conciliatory language in recent weeks in what -- after years of sometimes violent political struggles -- remains a deeply divided country. "In the current situation everyone must unify to fight," he said this week. While the government of novice Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawat...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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