Given to the audience of well-wishers
On the occasion of the Royal Birthday Anniversary
At the Dusidalat Hall, Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace
On Monday, December 4, 1995
I want to thank the Prime Minester for his kind wishes expressed in the name of those who have come to this assemble. And I also thank you for the holy image of the Buddha, named “Pra Nirarogantaraya” which I understand is a Buddha image that will protect one from all dangers particularly from all illnesses. This is indeed needed for keeping in good health.
The Prime Minister has formulated his good wishes and has recounted the good actions I have done. I don’t know if it is opportune to speak any further about my past activities, because I already spoke about them last year, exactly one year ago. At the end of my remarks, last year, I thanked those of you for your presence and your encouragement and I wished you prosperity and success and mutual harmony which would bring about a prosperous society which would, in turn, also benefit each and everyone in the form of a progressive and happy life. But before telling you this, I said that next year, meaning this year, if you wanted to hear me further, I would do it. In fact, I personally think that I could stop speaking right now because last year, I spoke a lot till I got a booklet this size here. I said, “I must stop now. If you want to know more of it, then come here next year, I’ll explain further.” This is what I said. But I don’t think there is a need for it because the Prime Minister has already given a long explanation.
This booklet contains a speech like today’s speech; the difference is that the day in the book was Sunday, 1994; today is Monday; the year is 1995. That is the difference. As for the contents, it could be considered as an answer to the Prime Minister, except that Prime Minister Chuan would be replaced by Prime Minister Banharn. But if I just finish my speech right here, it would not be quite fair to you; it would not be worth your coming here, after a long wait, causing weariness for both those inside and outside. Therefore, I have to say something.
Well, I’ll begin by opposing the Prime Minister just a little. The Prime Minister was, I think, accustomed to being the opposition, but now, he is getting accustomed to being opposed. But I must mention that there are about 2,000 projects to bring water that is necessary for the livelihood of the people who need the water. However, in the end, the Prime Minister said that there was too much water, so much that it had too be pumped out to the sea. Therefore, what are we supposed to understand: is water necessary or not necessary? Is water beneficial or harmful? The truth is that water, or anything in this wide world is, by nature, both good and bad. If we make good use of it, it will be beneficial. If we misuse it, it will be harmful.
One can protest that we did not intend to cause floods; it is true, but flooding is also caused by human error. In some situations, we should dam up the water for future use, but instead, the water is wasted and thrown away. Sometimes, when it should be let out, it is kept. It is not kept in a dam, but water is held back by the construction of roads, or housing estates, or factories, all of which obstruct the flow of water. In all these cases, the water retained overflows and floods the people. This is not good. I don’t want to put all the blame on the Prime Minister; he is already very tired, but I have to say this because I would like to see that everything is put to a good use, and in a reasonable way.
As for the drought, for example, this is also our mistake to let the water out down to the sea when it should be retained; but if it is retained, it may flood the people’s land. This is a big problem; it means that we should have a good management plan for water use. For example, this year, we really had heavy floods; those who went to inspect the situation in the provinces, even in nearby provinces such as Ayudhaya, reported serious floods. The ground was not visible and the roads could not be seen. But a few days ago, those who went to inspect the land reported an incredibly arid land. Here we don’t know if we should be happy or not; that is, if we consider that flood is not a good thing, then aridity should be a good thing. But those who saw the land said that it was frightening, because the ground was parched and cracked as if there had never been any water there before. It was like a drought-stricken land, a desert.
So what are we to do? If the people want to cultivate the land, they are not able to do so because there is no water. This is why I mentioned this last year and I have to repeat it today because at the end of my speech last year, I said, “If you want to know anything more, then come next year.” That is this year. Now you have no questions; nobody has asked what is the matter, utter silence; nobody has put up any problem. But there are problems! Therefore, I will tell you a short story that pertains to these problems. And then you will understand. In truth, even if I do not tell the story, everybody already knows it.
The story I am going to tell you is about a project initiated four years ago, for the construction of a memorial for Queen Suriyodaya riding a war elephant. Part of the memorial is a park with various trees and buildings to shelter arts and craft show. There will be viewing stations for tourists and a water reservoir. The planners said that if there was a water expanse, the view would be beautiful. When I received the plans, I examined them; of the 250 rai (0.39 acre x 250 = 97.5 acres), they had planned a 50 rai (19.5 acres). When I saw the plans, I was not very pleased but I did not know what to say. In the end, I had to venture to say that this was not the object of this memorial or the plan that I would have liked to see; I wanted a larger surface of water; I wanted it to be larger than half of the area. Finally, the planners acceded to the idea.
The reason why I wanted it so was that in the future, there could be - in fact, every year, there are - floods. And when there are floods, the water will flood the towns, in this case Ayudhaya and further downstream: Pathumthani, Nontburi, Bangkok Metropolis and further down, Samutrprakarn. If we provide a water retention area - we can call it a reservoir - or a pond that is big enough, we would be able to retain enough water that will alleviate the damage due to the floods. Moreover, when the flood dries up, the water that we hold back in the reservoir will be of use for the people in the neighboring area. Finally, the plan was realized; they made a bigger pond of 157 rai (61.23 acres). It was even bigger than I originally had in mind which was half of the area (125 rai = 48.75 acres).
Finally, this year, it happened. There was a flood and I remembered that there was this project. I sent people to take photographs, some by land, some by air. The resulting photographs revealed that there was some water pumping, with the end of a pipe in the pond and the machine pumping the water out of the pond. The level of the water in the pond was measured at 3 meters and 50 centimeters. But by examining the photographs, it could be seen that the water outside was at a higher level. I, therefore, told the provincial governor to stop pumping the water out and, if possible, to open up the watergates that were in the form of pipes or sluices that could be opened to let the water in and out, in order to let the outside water flow into the pond. When it was done, the water slowly began to come in and the level went up a little; but the water came in very slowly. They reported by communication radio the level inside the pond and the level outside the pond. And it proved that the water was really rising. On the measuring pole, the water level rose from 3.50 meters to 3.80 meters. They asked me if that was enough. I had to ask them what was the level outside. They answered they did not know. So I asked them, “Is the outside level higher or lower than the memorial’s dyke and how much?” They said it was 50 or 30 centimeters (I don’t remember it now) lower than the dyke. And I asked, “What is the level inside?”
They reported it was about a little more than one meter. So I ordered them to make a breach in the dyke, by using a tractor that is called a “back hoe” to cut through the dyke to let the water in. The governor said, “I cannot do it; my head will roll.” My man said, “You must do it; if you don’t, mine will roll.” I don’t know whose head was more variable. In the end, I understand that the governor was willing to risk his head. But in truth, his head did not roll because the governor of Ayudhaya is a good and honest man who has done everything for the progress and prosperity of the province of Ayudhaya. So, a “back hoe” of the Provincial Administrative Agency was used to dig a breach in the dyke. The water flowed in, but not quickly enough, so more breadhes were dug. In the meanwhile, the water level was constantly monitored. It was found that the water level on the eastern side, that is, the water that came from the Pasak River, was about 20 centimeters higher than on the side that came from the Chao Praya River. It had never been realized that the water in the fields on the Pasak side was higher than the Chao Praya River. And this fact made the officials, including the irrigation officers finally understand where the water that flooded Bangkok came from and where it went.
Finally, the water inside rose. Inside the pond, the water rose to about 50 centimeters below the crest of the dyke. On the outside (on the Chao Praya River side), the water was also 50 centimeters below the crest. As for the Pasak River side, the water was up to only 20 centimeters below the crest. It meant that the water outside and inside was not yet equalized. So I ordered them to continue the operation till the outside water and the inside water would be equalized; the measurement of the level was done by lengthening the water measuring rod which was originally foru meters high. It was lengthened to five meters but the water rose further till the level was measured at 5 meters and 70 centimeters. So, finally, the level of water in that pond rose from the original level of 3 meters 50 centimeters to 5 meters 70 centimeters. And the volume of about 500,000 cubic meters, rose to nearly 2 million cubic meters. When it reached that level, I ordered them to close the breach in the dyke so that the water would be kept inside the memorial grounds. The next day, the level of water in the outside fields was measured; it had subsided by 4 centimeters; this showed the people that this memorial was beneficial to them and Queen Suriyodaya was not only a heroine in the past but had also turned out to be a heroine in the present time. Thus, the memorial project has met with complete success.
The subsequent days the water level in the pond was measured again. The water inside diminished a little; outside it went down a lot. But in the days that followed, the water inside went down 50 centimeters. We learnt that some people had cut down the dyke to let out some water in order to catch fish. This incident prompted some Chai Pattana Foundation members to say, “In this situation, we must put up posters, the same way they do in the streets. We must put up posters saying, ‘No Fishing’ and ‘No Tampering With The Dyke.” I had to tell them, “We are in a democratic era; anyone desiring the fish can argue that they are in their legal rights to destroy the dyke to let the water out of the pone to catch the fish. But there are also other people who can argue that they are in a more legal right to want the water there because they want to keep it for future agricultural use.”
What are we to do about this? What will the democratically minded people answer? In fact, what we have to do is - how can I put it - provide an explanation. It is a matter of public relations to explain that to catch the fish in this way was not correct. If they wanted to catch the fish, they would be allowed to use a net to catch the fish in the pond. But catching fish by letting out the water that had been painstakingly kept was not the right thing to do; it would be a waste; it would be a pity. This water was of great use for the people. We must, therefore, explain that water was essential to the people themselves, not for anyone else, but actually for the people themselves. After the explanation, I think that the people understood. Now the waer is still at a high level. The latest report showed it was at 5 meters 20 centimeters meaning that it went down 50 centimeters. In the next few months, it will surely go further down due to evaporation and some seepage. Anyhow, there will be water available for future use.
This is like a historical epic about a national heroine in the past emerging as a present time heroine. It is a story we must think about, even if it is only a small part of things we have to do. There are other things that have to be done. For example, the Prime Minister has mentioned the “New Theory”; it is exactly for a situation like this that the theory has been formulated. The hard fact is that in a country like this country, water is plentiful or even excessive at some periods that it sometimes creates floods that bring miseries, destroys the cultivated plants causing them to die and rot. After that, after all that water is drained out at the cost of great efforts and expenses, drought will set in, so no cultivation is possible. Then, famine and poverty will prevail.
That is why I have devised the “New Theory” so that the people will be in a position of self-sufficiency in agriculture. In any year, when water is adequate, they will be able to plant their usual crops or have - what is called - their annual rice crop. If, after that, in the dry season, water becomes scarce, they will still be able to use the water that has been saved in the pond in their own plot of land to cultivate any crop or even a second rice crop. They will not have to depend too heavily on the main irrigation system because they have their own supply. Moreover, they may be able to plant vegetables or raise fish, or do other things. The “New Theory” is devised to prevent poverty. In a normal situation, it will make the farmer richer. In case of floods, the farmer will be able to recover with a minimum assistance from the government. The farmer will be self-reliant. That is why I encourage the application of the “New Theory”.
In fact, I already described this “New Theory” in detail last year. And in this booklet, the “New Theory” is described from the first stage, the second stage, to the third stage. The contents of this booklet must be studied and carefully pursued, because the application of the “New Theory” is not a simple thing. It depends on the location, on the situation and on the funds available. The people at large are now aware of the existence of the “New Theory” and everyone wants to benefit from it; they all want the government to help them by digging ponds for them and help them in many other ways. But that is not such an easy thing to do. In some places, a pond is dug, but there is no water. Even if there is rain, in some cases, the pond cannot retain water because it leaks; or sometimes it is a place where the water cannot be obtained. The “New Theory” must be implemented in places where it is suitable, where it is possible like it has been done in the Khao Wong District, Kalasind Province.
At that place, work has already been going on for three years and the results have been so satisfactory that the people request for more. But we cannot keep pace with the demand because we must wait for the construction of a bigger reservoir to supply the ponds in the land of the people. There, the reservoir has been completed. It should have a capacity of 3.5 million cubic meters, but this year, it contains only 2.5 million cubic meters because it has just been completed. Next year, it is hoped that water will increase because a system has been devised to bring water from another reservoir that has no usable agricultural land downstream; that water will be diverted to the first reservoir that has been constructed with a capacity of 3.5 million cubic meters; the capacity could be increased to 4.5 million cubic meters. From the reservoir, the water will be distributed to about 10,000 rai. With a conventional system, the reservoir could serve only 2,500 rai, but with the new system, that is, with the “New Theory”, 10,000 rai or even more can be served. In any case, implementing the “New Theory”, or in other words, supplying the people with enough water, is not an easy task, and everybody must do his share.
Last year, I said that I would add or supply further information to what I had said if anybody would desire to know more. I cannot read minds, but just a moment age, the Prime Minister said that I went to inspect to find out what should be done to the roads. In truth, I have great difficulty answering this question because, this year, the roads could not be seen; there was only water so we could not have a look at the roads. I don’t know how the officials did it when they went to inspect the roads; they had to go through water. They perhaps knew that the roads at such or such a place was good or bad; but the ordinary man could not see because the roads were covered with water. That is why the traffic problems cannot be solved. Anyhow, we all have to work on it. And if a question exists in your mind, then I think that there will surely be an answer.
One more thing, part of my speech last year contained advertising. I advertised a book I translated which was published. It was quite successful; the books sold like hot cakes. This year, you may think that I am going to advertise further. In fact, I would also like to do it but I am afraid you would think I am overdoing it and that each time I have a talk, I have to grab the opportunity to advertise. Actually, there is something to advertise, but I’d better go slow on it, because if I do it, you will think that all I do is wanting to make money. It is not so; I really have a project in the making and it is very interesting. But for this, in truth, no advertising is necessary because it had already happened and there has already been some advertisement.
Coming to another subject, I may say that the past year was a rather difficult year, an outright difficult year. It was so difficult that I could practically do nothing at all. It all began right here, in this area, where you are sitting now. It happened like this: I was exercising, walking around here, around you or rather around where you are sitting now. I was walking around, but you were not here. While walking, I was feeling gradually uncomfortable. The possible spectators would have said that I was pale and indeed I was. I was still walking, but…eh! My strength was failing. So I went to sit in the room back here. The doctors measured my blood pressure. It was very high and it would not come down. In the course of time, it seemed that my blood would not flow. Those who have experienced such a situation would know what an ordeal it is. But in the end, I had to accept the situation, one that I never thought I would ever have to face. I never thought that day would come, but it did, so I had to be admitted to the hospital.
At that time, Somdej Pra Sri Nagarindra Boromrajajanani, my Mother, had already been staying at the hospital because she had some trouble with her health. So I went to visit her. At first I did not really go to see her; I was practically knocked out. When the doctors decided that there should be a surgical operation, they brought me a piece of paper which I could hardly read and nor grasp the meaning of it. It was actually a document to be sighed, giving consent to the doctors to proceed with the operation. But the doctors did not tell me to sigh it, so I did not. As I had not signed it, they could not proceed. So they went to my Mother who was herself not well, but she signed the document consenting to the action of the doctors. Thus, the doctors could perform the operation.
When it was over, and I woke up from the anesthesia. Oh, what a relief; I felt so much better! I could breathe; everything was bright and clear! At that moment, my Mother ordered her personal physician to push her wheelchair into my room and she smiled when she saw me. She said, “Oh, I am glad, so glad that you are strong now!” After that, I stayed to recuperate at the hospital for a short period of time till the doctors deemed that I could go back home. So I asked my Mother when she would go back home. So I asked my Mother when she would go back home. She answered, “Oh, the doctors told me that I could go back anytime I wanted to; I just waited so that we go out together.” She added, “Mother and Son leaving together. Eh, that’s good!” So finally, we were discharged from the hospital. I first accompanied my Mother to Wang Srapatum, then came back here. I stayed here for a period of time to recuperate.
During convalescence, I did not go to visit her often because I still felt weak. But I was much better. One day the doctor telephoned that my Mother’s health had worsened. So I hastened to go and see her. I found her slightly better. She opened her eyes; when she saw me, she said, “Eh, go back home; you have stayed long enough!” So I returned home. But the next day, the doctor said that her condition had deteriorated; she had to be admitted to the hospital. After that, I went to visit her nearly every day at the hospital. Her condition did not improve, until in the end, the doctors could not find any way to save her, although they had tried their best to the end. It was a consolation for us that her own two children were at her bedside to hold her hand together with her favorite grandchild whom she had reared and who had taken care of her. The three of us held her hand till she passed away peacefully.
Thus, this year, we encountered bad or rather grave events. But Mother used to tell me, quite some time ago, at least ten years ago; she said, “This mother of yours was born a long time ago, so I am quite old.” At that time, very old meant more than 80 years old. That could be called old. But I told her, “To be old is good; the longer you live, the better it is for us because our parents’ longevity will be an encouragement for the children. If we have a mother who lives a long life, we will also live a long life. If we have a healthy mother, we will also be healthy.” So I told her that she must take care of herself and that she must take enough nourishment because at that time, she ate very little, always saying that she had enough. She got thinner and thinner and got weaker and weaker; she had no appetite at all. And she said, “I am very old; what is the use of going on living?” I told her, “Going on living is the point; it is an encouragement for the children.” And apart from that, she also said, “When I go to the dams or any other places, it is a burden for the people; they must come and take care of me.” I had to assure her, “I can guarantee that the officials are all happy and willing. It is also an encouragement for them.” That was why they all called her “Grandmother”. In the end, she listened to me and began to eat more and got stronger.
Her health improved gradually up until she had an accident four years ago and had to stay in the hospital. I went to visit her nearly every day. At that time, the Queen Suriyodaya Memorial was being built. On the day of the laying of the foundation stone, immediately after the ceremony, I hurried back to see her at Siriraj Hospital. I arrived in time for her dinner. She said, “Oh, just a moment ago, you were over there! Now you are here.” So I told her, “Yes, I am here.” And I helped her with her meal. The food made her stronger, so she lived four years more which was a net profit. And she understood then that the longer she lived, the better it would be. For a mother or any person whom we respect and love, who is old and especially, if she is still strong, if she is lucid, if she still can do things like Mother, she is a useful person. Mother was a useful person. When she passed away, we did what she had told us, “Mother is already old; I may die any time. When I die, don’t cry; I forbid it. I don’t want you to cry because death is a natural thing. Everyone has to die.” But at this juncture, seeing that she was getting weaker and weaker, we eventually realized that she could not live any longer but we still did not want her to die. Anyway, once she died, it is natural that we should miss her. This is also a natural thing.
When she died, the love and respect of the people throughout the country was evident and that extremely touched us. We were glad to have a mother who was loved by everyone. They all considered her the “Grandmother”. This is rather unique that everybody should call her “Grandmother”. All those who call her “Grandmother” are thus, our nephews and nieces; they are, because she is our Mother. Furthermore, she is the Grandmother of the people and the Grandmother of my children whom she left behind. We are, therefore, all relatives. Anyhow, we all feel bereaved and the people all over the country have a chance to show their attachment to her.
Even in her demise, she has contributed to the country. In fact, it is not her last contribution; she will still go on contributing for a long time to come. It is a unique contribution because when people from all lands and all tongues, even those who dislike Thailand, see this unique situation, this deep respect for the one who deserves it, they cannot help liking this country. They will say, “Thailand is a strange country.” And Thailand is indeed strange to have this unique situation. Therefore, no matter whether those of you who are sitting here in this place, are the same old faces or even new faces, you are all sitting here with the same spirit as I already mentioned last year, 2 years ago, 3 years ago or 4 years ago, that is, that we have a different spirit from that of many other countries.
I must again refer to what I said last year. One thing I talked about was a book that I advertised. I said that the situation in that country was not good and I had to publicize it because, if they had unity, peace, and tranquility, this book would not be interesting at all anymore, and it would not sell. I may be a little cruel to say that this book will sell if they are still fighting each other. It is for this reason that I translated it into Thai. I wanted to show Thai people that if we are prudent, we will not be like them. I must emphasize the word “not” lest you may say that I have not used the word “not”. We will “not” be like them. We are not yet in their situation because we are not yet like them. We have people who are not of the same opinion; there are some disputes which, at times, can become heated arguments. But the bottom line is that we are all Thai people; when it comes to preserving the country or to assisting the people who are, after all, the nation, we all must help each other.
The country which is the subject of this book, now seems to improve because there are some agreements for peace. Surrounding countries, countries in Europe and America, now say that they are in agreement that there will be peace. The agreement is agreed on. But the agreement terms are not yet met. Peace is only in the agreement. But it is not yet peaceful; it will still be a long time to go till there is peace. This is not a show of ill-will toward them; they are doing it to themselves; it is their own affairs. Anyway, anyone who has not yet bought this book should buy it; it is not yet out of date. Late year, I told you to read this book because in there a town called Bihac was mentioned; at that time, virtually nobody had heard about it. I believe that before my speech last year, there could be about one percent or half a percent of those who knew where the town of Bihac was.
Once you have bought this book, you can search for the name “Bihac”, to locate where it is. When you switch on your radio or your TV and listen to foreign news, the name of “Bihac” comes up again and again. “Oh, this is what is found in the King’s book! This is Bihac! Oh, they are fighting; they are attacking each other!” I don’t mean to be mean by enjoying the attacks on the town of Bihac. But it shows that the book is accurate; the book is telling the truth when it says they are fighting in Bihac. The readers will feel to be part of the whole scene. And it will make you realize that Thailand has no “Bihac” yet, and will never have any “Bihac”. There could be other things, but no Bihac. This is why, although I said, “No more advertising”, I still have to advertise. It is their own fault, the fault of that country where they are fighting each other. As for us, let’s not be a country well-known for fighting each other.
What I am going to advertise will perhaps not be necessary. Our country, Thailand, is a really wonderful country; nevertheless, there were some happenings taking place, such as the floods that created miseries, and not only in Bangkok and the neighborhood, but also from the Northern parts to the Southern parts and in the Northeast too. But it was the most distressful here because it was near to where we are sitting, here and now, that is, Bangkok. There have been miseries, but it was not so severe because there were things that helped us.
When the floods were beginning to recede, the Meteorological Department headed by Mr. Smith Dharmasaroj sent me a weather forecast, along with a memo saying, “The Meteorological Department sends Your Majesty data concerning the weather and the forecast concerning the movement of the storm.”I opened the envelope. Inside, it said, “To Your Majesty” followed by, “For your consideration.” That meant that the Meteorological Department was using me as a forecaster; that was an honor. They wrote, “For your consideration. ” Reading it, I felt rather concerned because, looking at the weather map, one could see the storm “Angela”, big and fat, big and fat like “Angela” in the cartoon. I don’t know if you have seen her or not; she is Popeye’s foe. Well, she is a character in the Popeye cartoons. She was becoming our foe.
Mr. Smith said that “Angela” was a super-typhoon, very fearsome, had taken many lives in the Philippines, apparently by the thousands. Normally, after a storm passes the Philippines, it must get thinner; but “Angela” got fatter; she became a super-typhoon. I did not know what to do. I got that weather forecast in the afternoon, late in the afternoon. Looking at it, “Well! What am I to do?” I waited till about one o’clock in the morning; I felt that I should use IT (Information Technology.) So I used Information Technology. Well! It seemed that “Angela” was losing weight. I must tell them, revealing to them that “Angela” was losing out to “Mani Mekhala”. You should know what that means; “Mani Mekhala” is perhaps not a total stranger to you. At one in the morning, I sent a message, “Tell the Meteorological Department that, tomorrow - meaning tomorrow as the Thais mean it or tomorrow as the Westerners mean it, I don’t know - but tomorrow, “the storm will degrade from a super-typhoon to a depression; and then after two days it will become an active low, in the vicinity of the Hainan Island or enter Mainland China.” This was what I answered to their query.
The next day, I consulted the “IT” once again. Eh, that’s good! What I said was quite accurate. Nevertheless, the CNN, the BBC, still considered the storm a typhoon. The subsequent day, it still was a severe tropical storm. But it did not seem strong, so I reassured them that Thailand would not suffer. And finally, did anybody here encounter “Angela”? I don’t suppose you have met her. Traveling here and there, by plane or otherwise, you did not come across “Angela”. “Angela” did not come. But Mr. Smith said she would. Please forgive me, Mr. Smith. The other day, Mr. Smith came and asked me how I did it. I told him that I asked “Mani Mekhala” to go and make arrangements and it yielded good results. If a storm comes on this course - and there have been such big typhoons - it could sweep through Vietnam and enter Thailand passing the vicinity of Mukdahan or Ubol. If it enters Thailand, there will surely be a great disaster. But this time there was no damage.
Now I am going to introduce “Mani Mekhala”. You already know that the “Mani Mekhala Office” is the office that issued my health bulletin. I suppose that you are wondering what this office is doing. It is a weather forecast office which has its headquarters on Mount Sumeru. You must wonder further where this Mount Sumeru is. There is a map in this booklet. The “Mani Mekhala Office” is part of the “For-Lor Office”. I suppose you don’t know what this “For-Lor Office” is. The “For-Lor Office” is this; this is the insignia of the “For-Lor Office”. Perhaps you cannot see clearly. The “Mani Mekhala Office” is part of the “For-Lor Office”.
But the important thing is that “Mani Mekhala” is an important character in my new book. I am beginning to advertise again. This new book will be published on the occasion of the fifty years’ Kanjanapisek celebrations. The book is being printed; I hope that it will be in time for the celebrations. This book is not in the same style as “Tito” or “Nai Indr”. “Nai Indr” is an exciting secret war book. “Tito” also concerns war; it is the story of a struggle. As for this new book, I will not yet give you the name. There are some who say that I should advertise it but I think it is not necessary to do so because it is quite a book. Wait to see it for yourselves. In that book, “Mani Mekhala” is, I cannot say that she is the heroine, but she is a very important character.
In this picture, there is a boat sailing in the Indian Ocean. And there are lines representing the wind direction; they are meteorological data; and there is here an astrological chart of that day. This represents the weather conditions of April 15, 1994 which, at that time, was very dry. The people said that they would not be able to celebrate the “Songkran” festival due to the scarcity of water. “Mani Mekhala” was contacted and she accorded a supply of water. And this (a wind chart) is the chart for April 15 by Mr. Smith himself; it is the real thing; Mr. Smith can vouch for its authenticity, and this is the astrological chart for April 15. Here, the year is 1994, but in that story, it was not the year 1994; I don’t know what year it was, but it was the same season. In that story, “Mani Mekhala” was an important person around the seas, the Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea, and Thailand which they used to call “Suvarnahbumi”.
Now we are speaking of the floods in Thailand, but if it had not been for the auspicious things that helped us and protected us, by now, we would still be under water because the storm Angela or the like, would have come in. At this moment, in fact, I would like to speak a little about this subject. However, I have already spoken quite a lot, nearly every day, at the “Coffeehouse Assembly” (Sapa Kaffae). Perhaps you don’t know what this term means. At the Grand Palace, there is a place called the “Rajkaranyasapa”, where the Privy Council holds its meetings. Sometimes after my visits to my Mother at the Dusit Mahaprasat where she lay in state, I came down to the “Rajkaranyasapa” to meet some guests. Subsequently, on the way down, near the “Rajkaranyasapa”, some people were waiting there and I stopped to have a conversation with them, mostly about the floods. The people from the television got interested, so they also waited around there to hear what was being said and reported it on the television. So I said that I came to speak at the “Coffeehouse Assembly”. It is called the “Coffeehouse Assembly” because we carry on talks there like the man in the street; it is not like in the Assembly: the Senate or the House of Representatives; those are official assemblies; and the members are all “honorable assemblymen” or something in this vein; and sometimes the Speaker of the Assembly has to call for silence with his gavel, saying, “That is enough.” In our assembly there was no Speaker of the House because it was a “Coffeehouse Assembly”; and it was a “Coffeehouse Assembly” where no coffee was served because coffee is not good for the heart, that was why no coffee was drunk not even coffee without coffee (decaffeinated). But there were conversations and floods were the topics.
Now and to this assembly, the Prime Minister has brought with him the provincial governors. All over the country, there are 75 provincial governors. I don’t know if they have all come. But I would wish they could come up here to report. This is not the “Coffeehouse Assembly” anymore, because it was the Prime Minister who has spoken about the “Monkey Cheek Project”. Talking like this may puzzle some of you on why it is called the “Monkey Cheek”. I have already spoken on what the “Monkey Cheek” is but it has perhaps not sunk in. It is a “Monkey Cheek Project” because “Mani Mekhala” is part of the “For-Lor Office”. And what is this “For-Lor Office”? This is the first time that it is officially unveiled, now and at this instant, outside office hours; it is revealed that “For-Lor” means the “Monkey Pack Office” (“For-Lor = “FL” for “Foong Ling”). Here is the insignia of the “Monkey Pack Office”. Here is the “Pra Kal” Shrine. Down here are the monkeys which do not eat bananas; that is, they do eat bananas but they do not keep them in their cheeks because ordinarily, when we give bananas to monkeys, we would see them munch, munch, munch, and then keep them in their cheeks. But the monkeys in Lopburi, the governor would probably know, don’t eat bananas; they only feast on Chinese food.
Anyway, the monkeys, by their nature, are still monkeys. I remember that when I was five years old, we had monkeys and we gave them bananas. They would munch, munch, munch, and then kept the food in their monkey cheeks. It follows that this “Monkey Cheek Project” actually originated way back when I was five years old. Five years old, that is, 63 years ago. The monkeys of that time, the ancient monkeys, already had monkey cheeks. They munched and stored their food in their cheeks. When flood waters come down, and we have no “Monkey Cheek Project”, that flood would inundate all over the place, the same way it did this year, all over the central plains. We have to make a “Monkey Cheek” as a retention area to keep that water when the sea water surges up and we cannot evacuate the flood water. As that water cannot be evacuated when sea water surges up, it will be forced to flow back into the river nearly up to Ayudhaya making it impossible for the water to go down. Then when the tide subsides, the water that has invaded the land cannot go back to the Chao Praya River, thus continuing the flood. Therefore, we must have a “Monkey Cheek” and let the water out whenever it is possible. We let it out the same way as the project that I spoke about on September 19 when I said that we should provide places to keep water along the sea on the East coast. Eventually, we met with a satisfactory result. Water in the Lad Krabang District subsided after a very few days.
The governor of Bangkok went to Lad Krabang. There, he stood waist high in the flood water. It was rather unfortunate for he was standing near a water pump. He was standing there and shouting orders; I don’t remember what he was saying. And that pump was working, pumping up water and spraying it down. And nobody noticed that the water that had been pumped from the road and then sprayed down into the ditch, returned from the ditch back to the road. I suppose the governor saw it but he did not dare say that the water was re-circulating. Or it may be that he did not know it because the officials might have told him to stand there as it would make a beautiful picture in front of the water pump. The water was spraying out, but where was that water going to? Well, it came back to inundate him. The water was re-circulating; it was going round in circles. It was not the right way to do things. Pumping must be efficient because pumps use up energy; I don’t know what source of energy that pump used; probably it was not electricity; it could have been a diesel motor. How much fuel will be consumed? And when that fuel was burnt, it would create the “greenhouse effect”; it was pollution. And that water would go nowhere, but would just stay around there. That was why we must implement the “Monkey Cheek Project” so that the water at Lad Krabang could go down to the “Monkey Cheek”, waiting to be pumped out to the sea in due time. That is what has been done and I deem that it was successful because in the matter of a few days, after the project had been implemented, the water at Lad Krabang subsided. The roads reappeared, the roads that they wanted to improve for a flowing traffic; the cars could circulate once again. But it could be seen that the roads were full of pot-holes; they had to be repaired.
Anyway, the roads reappeared after the “Monkey Cheek Project” had been carried out. But at that time, it was not yet called the “Monkey Cheek Project”. It was later that it was called the “Monkey Cheek Project” after some consultations with the “Monkey Pack Office”. They agreed that the “Monkey Cheek Project” was feasible. Now we have the “Monkey Cheek Project” and we all have to cooperate in its implementation. I am sure that it will be useful and will bring about good results. I have figures about these projects but I do not want to mention them yet. I don’t want to overwhelm you with numbers yet for you will not be able to remember them once you are out of this place; it will be the object of great worry because the quantity of water that comes down is so large that it is difficult to imagine how much. If I say that it is 5,000 cubic meters per second, you may not make out how much it is. In six hours, these 5,000 cubic meters per second will be 100 (108) million cubic meters. In 24 hours, it will be 400 (432) million cubic meters. These daily 400 (432) million cubic meters that come down remain a problem of disposal; we must evacuate them out; any amount of pumping will not e enough especially if the water pumped out keeps re-circulating making the effort futile.
One mode of operation would be to retain the water uphill by keeping it in the dams; there are two big dams: the King’s Dam and the Queen’s Dam. This year the King’s has retained 9,000 million cubic meters to prevent it from coming down and flooding the plains. The Queen’s retained 6,000 to 7,000 million cubic meters. This is without reckoning the amount that was already retained in the dams. If it hadn’t been for these two dams, more that 20,000 million cubic meters would have come down to submerge Bangkok and what would have happened? That is why it is a very good thing that the Prime Minister has said that the Pasak Project will be implemented. It will help to lighten the miseries because 800 million cubic meters will be kept in that dam. Therefore, 800 million cubic meters will be held uphill. Moreover, when there is a water shortage, this reserve can be released to make a good use of it.
Now I would like governors of the provinces in the Chao Praya River basin to come up here and see the 2 or 3 maps that have been prepared. They have not brought them yet. Please bring the first one. This first one will show the path of the water through the different provinces. Tell the official who made the preparations to bring it now. This is a map of Thailand with the scale of 1 : 1,250,000. You should be able to follow the path. Now I am going to be a sort f a lecturer. Please give me some pens.
Bangkok is here (location 2). The Chao Praya River passes Nakorn Sawan (location 1). Nakorn Sawwan, here, is the junction of all the rivers that come from the North, except the Pasak River that comes to join at Ayudhaya. I am going to trace the river upward. Here is approximately the Chao Praya River. Here is Nakorn Sawan (location 1). Here (location 2) is Bangkok. The followings come from the North: the Ping River (location 3), the Wang River (location 4), the Yom River (location 5), the Nan River (location 6).
All the water comes down; if there are no dams or nothing that will stop that water from freely flowing down, it will surely flood this place here because it flows at the rate of 5,500 cubic meters per second, more than 400 million cubic meters per day. But there are projects. About here (location 7), there is a dam, the King’s Dam, and about here (location 8) is the Queen’s Dam which retains the water in this basin, and in this basin here (location 9) is a small dam, not very big, the Kiu Lom Dam which retains some water. We can see that some water that flows down in this area is not retained. Apart from this, there is some sideflow that comes from the Pasak River which will be retained by the Pasak Dam Project, around here (location 10). So, if the Pasak Dam Project is implemented as the Prime Minister has promised, the water in this basin will be retained.
There are the Queen’s Dam Project, the King’s Dam Project, the Kiu Lom Dam and if this (the Yom River) project is completed, it will somewhat help to control the situation. In this area (location 11) are the Chiangmai Province, the Lampun Province, the Tak Province and the Kamphaengpetch Province. Here are the Nan Province and the Prae Province where there are some problems. The Prime Minister has visited nearly everywhere and others have also been there, coming back puzzled, not knowing what to do, or what action to take in order that the water will not come down spreading havoc. This concerns Chiangmai, Lampun down to Tak. As for Mae Hong Son, it is outside the basin; the water from there goes down to the Salween.
I wonder if the Chiangmai governor is present. Those from Chiangmai, Lampun or other provinces upstream from the King’s Dam, please come up here on the stage. Here we don’t know what the flood situation around Chiangmai is. Here (location 12) are the Mae Ngad Dam and the Mae Kuang Dam. Now I would like the governor to show me the areas where there are floods.
(The governor of Chiangmai - May it please Your Majesty, in Chiangmai, this year there have been floods only in the vicinity of both banks of the Ping River.) So below the Mae Ngad and the Mae Kuang Dams, there were no floods, were there?
(The governor of Chiangmai - Downstream from the Mae Ngad and the Mae Kuang, there were only light floods, Your Majesty.) Once I went and inquired the local people about the Mae Ngad River. They said that the Mae Ngad River was very wild. I asked them at that place if it was the Mae Ngad or the Mae Ping, and if the Mae Ping was as wild. They answered that the Mae Ping was not so wild, but the Mae Ngad here, was wild. They then asked that we build a weir. At that time, there was a weir at that place, but it broke down every year. So the idea to build a dam emerged. This happened many years ago; I don’t remember how many years ago it was that the Mae Ngad Dam was built.
(The governor of Chiangmai - That was more than ten years ago.) It was begun more than twenty years ago. The Mae Ngad has become much tamer. When waters came, the Mae Ngad Dam filled up. It took some time to fill up so the Mae Ngad River downstream of the dam is tamer. But it is still wild; it still floods Chiangmai City. But the last floods were not so severe and were limited to the city area and lasted only a few days due to these two dams. Is the governor of Lampun here? In fact, it is not necessary; Lampun is Chiangmai’s neighbor. Lampun is dry; water is scarce.
(The governor of Chiangmai - There was no flood in Lampun.) There was no flood because there was no water. In Lampun, I have a friend, at the district of Li. I asked him if there was any rain. He said, “No rain.” So I sent for the rainmaking team to make rain in Lampun at Li District. My friend said, “I saw an airplane flying past the small dam that was the target. Passing the target, the plane released some chemicals.” Usually, when it rains, it comes only in a light drizzle. But that day, my friend went to see the dam and he said, “Oh! They hit the bull’s-eye; it came plop right in the dam.” This is rainmaking! But the floods were not the result of rainmaking. The water that flooded Chiangmai came down and was caught in the King’s Dam in the vicinity of Tak. There was not so much flooding. So this is it, about what concerns the governor of Chiangmai. That is all about Lampun. We can move on to Tak Province. Is the governor of Tak here? Are the governors of Nan and Uttaradit here? The governor of Nan is present. Is the governor of Uttaradit here? … He is not here. It does not matter; the governor of Nan can speak in his stead. In the province of Nan, have there been any floods or not?
(The governor of Nan - On both banks of the Nan River and in some areas of the Wa River, the Muab River, and part of the Yao River, Sir.) Here (location 13) is the Nan River which flows down to Nan. Here, there are floods. And the Wa River is here.
(The governor of Nan - The Wa River in the area of the Tha Wang Pha District, Sir. The Muab River, in the area of the Viangsa District, Sir.) They are in this area (the King points at the basin of the three rivers). And do you know whether there have been floods in Uttaradit too?
(The governor of Nan - Sir, Uttaradit is downstream.) Have there been any floods?
(The governor of Nan - There have been severe floods, Sir. Severe because there are no dams. Uttaradit is downstream of the dam.) Downstream of this dam is where there are floods.
(The governor of Nan - When water was released from the Sirikit Dam, it went down to the province of Uttaradit.) The water went down because the Sirikit Dam is not big enough. The water had to be released from the dam. The dam was 100% full. The in-flowing water had to be released.
(The governor of Nan - Sir, I beg your permission to give Your Majesty some data. If there are some dam constructions on the Wa River, the Yao River, and the Muab River in Nan Province, it could relieve all the problems, Sir.) Do you mean the Wa River, the Muab River that are in this vicinity? (the King points at the rivers on the map.)
(The governor of Nan - And part of the Yao River, Sir. These three rivers flow into the Sirikit Dam and they flow rather swiftly because the slope is rather steep - from the altitude of 1,900 (meters) down to 1,700 (meters). When they come down to the district of Viangsa, the difference of altitude is greater than 200 (meters). Three big rivers. And the water flows rather swiftly, Sir.) Make a note of that and send a memorandum to the Prime Minister so that …
(The governor of Nan - I would like to report to Your Majesty. These projects have been studied and there have already been several construction plans by the Ministry of Science. But I do not know why no budget has been provided.)
So the Prime Minister, in his capacity as the Minister of Interior, has heard the report about these projects. Anyhow, there must be cooperation from all sides: those from the Ministry of Interior, the Irrigation Department, the Ministry of Agriculture. If these projects can be implemented, it may alleviate the trouble caused by the release of surplus water from the Queen’s Dam. The release of that water creates trouble for many provinces, Uttaradit, down to Pitsanulok, and then… (The governor of Nan - also the province of Pichitr, Sir.)
Down to Pichitr. That means that the province of Uttaradit, then Pitsanulok and Pichitr, suffered floods because of the absence of these three dams which would have lightened the distress. This area (location 14) suffered from the flood. In the Chiangmai area, the trouble is minor. But in this area it is serious.
In this area, water comes also from the Yom River basin and causes trouble in Prae, Sukhothai and Pitsanulok because that water comes down in this direction. Something has to be done; the water that comes down here also comes down into the Chao Praya River. On the Chao Praya River, there is a dam at Chainat (location 15). Chainat is here. The Chainat Dam is not a reservoir; it is a diversion dam. Thai kind of dam retains only a small amount of water. That will be all for the governor of Nan.
We know that here (the province of Prae) there is trouble resulting from the trouble in the province of Nan. Is the governor of Prae here? If the governor of Prae has not come, I won’t blame him, because if all the governors are here, then who will govern?
And then, there are the assistant governors, the district officers, the subdistrict officers, who have been reported to go into monkhood. If they all go into monkhood, then who will govern? It has been reported to me officially that all these officials would go into monkhood in my honor. I said that I was pleased and grateful, but I wrote in the answer, “Who will govern?” - I don’t know if my comment has been sent or not. Probably the Local Administration Department can give me the answer. But it is good that they did not come. They can then carry on with their duties. Or are they somewhere else? I don’t know. Anyhow, the provincial governors have their duties to govern, to look after their provinces for the well-being of the people. After the floods, it is imperative that there should be senior officials to look after all local activities.
Just now, the governor of Nan has suggested the construction of three dams; that is a very useful suggestion; he has pinpointed the problem because the three dams will be able to retain the water. It will alleviate the sufferings of the areas downstreams that are flooded caused by the release of water from the Queen’s Dam.
As for Pitsanulok, there is another side-flow. The Khwae Noi (the Minor Stream) - I cannot see so well but I think it is around here (to the East of Pitsanulok) -. On this river, there are no projects yet. It should be done in order to retain the water that comes from the Chattrakarn District. This project could draw some protests from some quarters on why such dams should be constructed and on what benefit would be derived from them. Well, we have already witnessed the usefulness of these two dams (the two big dams). Without these two dams, here, the central plains would have suffered more severe floods. The floods would not have been this limited but the whole area would have been flooded.
Coming further down, we arrive here, at the Chainat Dam. From the Chainat Dam, water flows down in diverging ways. It branches out this way (location 16, to the West), which can alleviate the flooding. But the water that comes down this way (to the South) and this way (to the South-South-East) will flood this whole area. Therefore, something must be done to relieve the distress and to reduce the extension of the floods.
I have not yet inquired about the flow of water from Tak, passing through Kamphaengpetch, to Nakorn Sawan. This is perhaps not necessary because we already know that Nakorn Sawan was flooded, very deeply, submerging the head; this resulted from insufficient retention of water here (of the Wang River at the Kiu Lom Dam). In between, there are no other water retention areas. On this side (the Mae Wong River basin, on the Western side), there is also no retention area. Here (the Yom River), there is no retention area either. All this water comes down to Nakorn Sawan (location 17) which is a low-lying area. Water from the side-flows has worsened the floods here. There have been efforts to disperse the water on both sides, but it is not sufficient.
Furthermore, you have to know that the water that flows down will collide with the water that flows up due to the high tide (location 18, from Paknam). The tide which pushes up the water, does it in cycles. This coincides with the twelfth month tides, when the river is full. It is the time when the water coming down from the North collides with the tides coming up. This affects the Bangkok area up to Ayudhaya because water will not be able to flow down. Therefore, a plan must be implemented to prevent this. One way to correct this situation is to bring the water from here (location 19, East of Ayudhaya) out toward the East. And, if it can be done, bring the water that is in this area (location 20, West of Ayudhaya), down to here, (the Tachin River). All this will lighten the damage due to the water that surges up. Therefore, a way must be found to let the water that comes from the North go out into the sea. This is the origin of the “Monkey Cheek Project”. The “Monkey Cheek Project” needs some explanation.
Please bring me the white board, because this map can hardly be understood now. The “Monkey Cheek” lies along this area (location 21, along the coastline); it is between the Thachin River and the Bangpakong River. Here is the Chao Praya River (location 22). The mouth of the Chao Praya River is rather wide. When the tide comes up, it is not so strong. But coming here (location 23), near the Krung Thep Bridge, the Taksin Bridge, the Rama VII and the Memorial Bridge, the river is narrower. Coming to this point (location 23), the up-surging water (location 24) and the water that comes from the North, collide at this point. The water, therefore, overflows the banks into here (location 25). On the East bank, the Bangkok side, the water does not overflow because the banks are higher. However, on the West bank, the Thonburi side, when the water floods in, it stays there. At high tide, the water comes in here. At low tide, the water cannot flow out in time because the water must flow down at the same time as the water coming from the North. Therefore, the flow is one-way. The water does not recede. As the water does not go down, the roads, the most notorious being the Charoen Nakorn Road and the Charan Sanitvongs Road (location 26), are flooded. These two roads have been flooded for two months.
Here (location 27, on the Western side), there is the Sanpasamit Canal, from Samutrprakarn to Samutrsakhorn. There are no canal locks. Here (location 28, on the Eastern side) is the Seaside Canal. This canal has canal locks and gates to let the water out to the sea at intervals (location 29). Here (location 30) is the Old Sukhumvit Road. At high tide, the gates can be closed; the water from the sea will not enter; but at low tide, the water inside the gates can be let out. Thus, the water from up there (location 31) can be diverted down here. But along the way, there are many obstructions: the Bangna-Trad Highway (location 32), the Eastern railroad track. The water cannot pass through these obstructions. Furthermore, there are this road (location 33, the new road to Bangpakong) and many housing estates blocking the way; the water flow is impeded. If it is possible to make the water come down to this place (location 29), then pump it out to the sea; the water here (location 31) will quickly drain out. All this cannot be easily done if there is no water coming down here (location 29), then pump it out to the sea; the water here (location 31) will quickly drain out. All this cannot be easily done if there is no water coming down here (location 29).
On the West, the sea water pushes up so the water in this area (location 35) and this area (location 36) cannot be evacuated. Along these areas, there are roads, housing estates, factories, highways to Nakorn Pathom and to Sampran (location 34). The water that comes down from this area (location 35) cannot come through to the canals. The Thavivattana Canal also comes down this way. The flow of water is blocked by the roads and the housing estates. And the clogged-up water will stagnate here (location 36) because the surging sea water prevents it from flowing out to the sea.
I will now speak about the “Monkey Cheek Project”. Locks should be built at both ends of the Sanpasamit Canal and water will have to be directed there (location 38). Locks will be built to let water pass through one way, down only, not up. But for this purpose, an area (location 39) must be chosen to receive a great amount of water. A water retention area must be provided. And dykes have to be built to contain the water. When the sea is high, the locks will be closed and water will be pumped out of the retention area. When the sea level is low, the locks will be opened to let the water flow out by gravity into the sea. This is the principle. As there are some people in this area, care must be exercised so that these people will not suffer.
Accordingly, we have to do something. Some sort of platforms (location 40) must be built. This location used to be salt farms, but salt cannot be produced now. Subsequently, prawn farms were tried here, but it cannot be done now; polluted water flows down here making it impossible for prawns to survive. Nowadays, crabs are raised here instead. However, it is not a real crab farm; the crabs were brought from elsewhere and put in these fields which function like a sort of a crab “bank”. They don’t “raise” the crabs; crabs cannot be raised here due to the polluted water, so it is very dangerous; the crabs here live in polluted water and people who eat these crabs get sick. It is a well-known fact that Samutrsakhorn crabs have caused digestive ailments to many people. What can be done is to elevate the land by building platforms. These platforms will be large enough for the people who live here to organize themselves into a housing community.
On these platforms (location 41), the “New Theory” could be implemented. There would be a pond and a compound for the house. When the earth has been improved which could be possible within two years, by digging up the earth on the spot and drying it, or by bringing soil from somewhere else to fill the place and by desalinating the soil, those who will settle here will be able to plant trees such as coconut trees or rose apples or plant vegetables or raise farm animals. In the ponds, they could also raise fish. As for the space that constitutes the “Monkey Cheek” where the water flows down, eventually, that water will become clean water and could be used to raise aquatic animals. When the water comes down, it will be retained here.
At high tide, the seagates will be closed. At low tide, they will be opened and the water will flow out by gravity, due to the difference of water level. This area is spacious, suitable for a “Monkey Cheek Project” and there are few villages; a land settlement can be established. It would not be a housing project for profit, but one to house those in this area, and perhaps those who may have to move from the areas used for the enlargement of canals to speed up the flow of water. On this side (location 28, on the Eastern side), a project could be implemented too, but I have not studied it yet. It should be feasible; there are sites that are similar to this side (location 29, on the Western side). This is about the “Monkey Cheek Project”.
The “Monkey Cheek Project” must be implemented according to the motto inscribed under the insignia here (the King points at the pocket of his jacket). I would like to refer to what I told you some three years ago; it is difficult to say it in Thai but in English, it is, “Our Gain” means our benefit. “Our Loss”, what we have to disburse, “Is Our Gain”, becomes our profit. We must adhere to the motto of the For-Lor Office. In this way, we will be able to implement this project. On the other hand, if we do not believe so, but believe that “Our Loss Is Our Loss”; that is, if we don’t want to pay the price, we will not be able to implement this project. We have to pay a price. But in the end, it will result in a gain for us. The people who live here will cooperate which will reduce the cost of this project; and the people there will also benefit; the government will benefit as well.
I would like you to understand why it is called the “Monkey Cheek”. Well, it is because the water that comes in here (location 25) cannot go out of the area; it has to be munched, munched, munched and kept here (location 39). Here (location 42), there are many canals; among them is the “Khlong Samray”, for one, and another one called the “Khong Rong Pasee”. Here, when the tide comes in, it rushes in; from there, it goes to the “Khlong Bangkok Yai”. But if we create a channel so that the water could flow down here, to the “Khlong Sanam Chai” (location 43) which, in turn, flows down here to the “Khlong Mahachai” (location 44) or if we connect the “Khlong Samray” and the “Khlong Rong Pasee” to the “Khlong Sanam Chai” or the “Khlong Bang Mod” (location 38), the water which floods this area of Thonburi (location 25) could be evacuated. This can be done; it could be a “Canal Street” or it could be called a “ mStreet Canal”; it could become a street over a canal or a canal under a street.
In New Orleans, the United States of America, they have a street that is a canal. In English, it is called the “Canal Street”. Those who have visited New Orleans have probably seen the “Canal Street”. When there is a flood, water will come down the “Canal Street” and flow into a “Monkey Cheek”. Their “Monkey Cheek” is a natural “Monkey Cheek”; it is a big lagoon. But we have to build our own “Monkey Cheek”. Furthermore, we have to build our “Canal Street”. Once we do this, we’ll be safe from floods except when there is a “Thousand-Year Rain” or a “Ten Thousand-Year Rain”, meaning the rain that comes down in a record quantity. If the project can be thus implemented, we’ll be able to fight Nature for the benefit of the people. This is not a fight against anyone or any person; we are fighting Nature, so that the people will have a happy life and will be able to cooperate in this project; and people in the area of the project will also be happy. This happiness, the freedom from strife, is “Our Gain”, that is, our profit.
The implementation of this flood prevention plan will cost money in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousand million baht. But if it is successfully carried out, it will be a profit because the victims will not have to be assisted and there will be no one who will lose. Everyone will be able to work for the benefit of the community. Everybody will have enough money to subsist. The community will be self-reliant. If we successfully implement this project, Thailand will show considerable progress. The plan I have shown on this board is perhaps a little difficult to follow, but if you think it over slowly, you will be able to understand. You should note down any questions you still have. I will be able to answer them in the future, perhaps not necessarily next year. Last year, I told you to wait till next year, that is, this year. I have made an expose without having been invited to; it was Nature that prompted me to do it; that is why I did it.
Anybody who would like to know more about this should go and ask for details at the Chaipattana Foundation or at the Irrigation Department where there are experts who will be able to explain to you because I understand that they are knowledgeable. I must say, “I understand” because I don’t know if they do understand or they don’t understand. But I understand that they understand. If you have any questions, just note them down. I may be able to give the answers. Well, I have spoken at a rather great length. It should be enough for today. I think that you must be hungry. You must go and digest all these ideas; and, after having digested some of these ideas, you should eat so that you will be able to work further. Today you have spent a lot of time here already and you will have much more work to do. I hope that you will work for the successful implementation of the “Monkey Cheek Project”. I thank all of you who have come.