The flooding began in July and affected both northern and central Thailand, with over 12 million people affected by the disaster, and Bangkok airport Don Muang being forced to close.
The general election in 2011 brought a new change of Government for Thailand, with Pheu Thai Party leader Yingluck Sinawatra replacing Abhisit Vejjajiva, from the Democrats. Pheu Thai Party won a majority with 265 seats, and Ms Yingluck became the country’s first female Prime Minister.
Her government plans on introducing a new minimum wage of B300 per day, with the first stage expected to be introduced in April. Bangkok and five surrounding provinces, plus Phuket, will be first. In the rest of the country the wage rise will be brought in a year later, on January 1, 2013.
Debate is still open on whether fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra will be given a royal pardon
Thaksin lives abroad to escape a jail term for corruption, but a cabinet meeting recently reportedly endorsed a royal pardon that could allow him to return without serving time, prompting an angry response from his rivals.
Earlier in the year in wider Asia, life in eastern Japan changed forever following the March earthquake and tsunami, leaving more than 15,000 dead and thousands more injured and homeless. Memories of the Asian Tsunami in 2004 were triggered for many who were able to watch the footage live.
The New Year of 2012 will be a leap year starting on Sunday, January 1.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognising their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. It has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
In January, the first Winter Youth Olympics will be held in Innsbruck, Austria,k while February 2 will be the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking the 60th anniversary of her accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the 60th anniversary of her becoming Head of the Commonwealth.
In April the United States will cede wartime control of the military of South Korea after 50 years, and July 27 will mark the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, being held in London.
London will become the first city in history to host the Olympic Games three times.
With much more to look forward to, The Southern Sun offers a warm welcome to 2012.