Ecumenical Peace Prayers organized in Chiang Mai
YMCA and YWCA carry out worldwide peaceful protest
The Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. Chiang Mai held a special
ceremony for peace on March 8, at the same time the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A.
worldwide organized a special day of prayer for peace.
from Hindu, Muslim, Christianity and Buddhist led all participants to pray
Vorakit Kanthakalang joins to in the World YMCA-YWCA Prayers for Peace.
candle to show the way to stop violence.
monks pray for peace.
The day began at the Y.M.C.A. Chiang Mai when
representatives from the Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu religions
prayed together for peace. Following prayers, the participants from all
religions lit candles and sang songs of peace.
In Thailand and Asian countries there are 4 majority
religions: Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu. All the religions are
calling for peace in the world. However, politics have brought the world
into violence. Some countries are willing to spend billions of their
government’s budget on war, but there is not enough in the budget to
assist the world’s poor.
from all regions gathered to protest against war.
is no region to prevail peace.
War brings loss and death to innocent people. So, this meeting at the
little community in Thailand is aiming to deliver a message to the world
community that they are wanting to keep peace in our world. They hope to
stop violence and let us remain in peace. We pray peace may prevail on
Inthanon hill tribes gather to curse forest arsonists
Hilltribe communities and Doi Inthanon government
officials held local rituals to curse forest arsonists. The event was aimed
at to preserving the forest during the dry season.
District Chief Pornsak Sanguanphol presided over the ceremony.
headman asks the holy power to protect the forest.
than 500 hill tribe villagers joined the ritual cursing of arsonists at Doi
Inthanon National Park Office on March 10.
headman performs an ancient ritual to ask holy powers to protect the forest.
More than 500 Hmong and Karen hill tribe people gathered
in the morning on March 10 to carry out sacred tribal rituals at Doi
Inthanon National Park Office. This ceremony was presided over by Chormthong
district chief, Pornsak Sanguanphol.
The hill tribe people from 10 villages in Doi Inthanon
strongly believe that there are many supernatural powers controlling and
looking after each tree and water source, so accordingly they do not destroy
Hmong community’s leader first started this tribal
ritual by inviting the holy objects in Doi Inthanon to look after the
people, and watch out for and punish the ones who try to light forest fires.
If there is no serious incident within 3 months, the villagers will give a
pig to the holy powers and a cow after 3 years pass without forest fires.
The second ritual practiced by Karen tribe leaders was
that the headman venerated the forest spirits with colorful flower offerings
and asked the sacred power to inspire the forest residents to preserve the
by the Karen people are always done with colorful flowers
demonstrate forest fire extinguishing techniques for the hilltribe people.
Doi Inthanon has forest fires every year during February - May,
especially in March and April. Anyone who discovers a forest fire please
contact the Doi Inthanon National Park Forest Fire Control Unit: 053 229
Danish Princess visits UNICEF Project at Bumrungrad Hospital
story and pictures by Peter Cummins
Princess Alexandra of the Danish Royal Court recently
visited Bumrungrad Hospital to see first-hand the programmes initiated by
the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) designed specifically to
assist disadvantaged girls from the north and the north-east.
Alexandra chats with Thailand UNICEF representative, Dr. Gamini Abeysekera.
The Princess distributes mementos of the visit to the interns.
staff welcome HRH to the hospital’s marvellously-appointed “Kid Zone”.
UNICEF’s Youth Career Development Programme (YCDP) is a
joint collaboration for child protection being undertaken by 19 of
Bangkok’s leading hotels, the Standard Chartered Nakornthon Bank and
Bumrungrad Hospital. Originally launched by the Pan Pacific Hotel Bangkok
and UNICEF in 1995, “at risk” young girls are selected from the poorest
areas of Thailand’s north and trained in the hotel and hospitality sector
at the particular hotel and, in the case of Bumrungrad, in the medical and
The Princess, a gracious, eloquent and vibrant person,
warmed to the Hospital staff and the lovely trainee nurses, who, in turn,
were very much at ease with her polite and rather informal style.
A mother of two young children herself, she was quick to
grasp the details of the training programmes, pointing out, with a ready
smile, that being a mother she had little time to ponder situations but,
rather, must see details quickly.
“There are always two young children vying for my
attention,” she added.
Khun Varanya briefed the Princess on the partnership
between the hospital and UNICEF and pointed out that the hospital is the
only one in the YCDP scheme and, since joining in 2000, Bumrungrad has
accepted 20 eligible students per year, providing training and scholarships
for continuing education and career opportunities at the hospital. Three
outstanding students were granted scholarships for nursing studies at
Princess confers with the UNICEF translator, to field some questions.
“wai” from the Princess works wonders with the gathering
Bumrungrad trainee nurses have an enthralling - and, informative - dialogue
seniors and the charming staff of the “Kid Zone”: smiles all around.
Curtis J. Schroeder, the director of Bumrungrad, informed
the Princess, “Nine trainees from the first programme were recruited and
now are working with the hospital.”
The Bumrungrad contribution
It was in 200 that the hospital was approached by the Pan
Pacific Hotel and UNICEF to join YCDP and help poor young girls through
provision of a Nurse Aide Training Programme. “We were very excited about
this,” Khun Varanya informed the Princess. “As the Bumrungrad management
team, we soon realized that this was one way that we could help the Thai
community - and the country. We also realized that many young girls were
interested in pursuing a career in the health-care field,” she added.
The Hospital’s Nurse Aide Training Programme started
with the nine graduates, mentioned by Dr Curtis, and comprises two parts.
The first six months are more theoretical, focusing primarily on anatomy,
English language, medical terms and bedside care.
Practical “hands-on” training follows and each
student is trained in each department by the hospital’s senior staff.
Progress is closely observed by unit managers and upon graduation, the girls
are recruited as full-time hospital employees.
In the course of the Nurse Aide Training Programme, the
hospital provides free lodging, food, books and all other necessities,
including a monthly allowance. Moreover, for any who pass the entrance exam
for a government university to continue their bachelor degree, the hospital
will also provide a study grant. So far, there are three trainees who are
now studying in university level.
UNICEF is very happy with the Bumrungrad programme and
co-operation and, as was pointed out to the Princess, it is the only
hospital in Asia to be certified by the US-based Joint Commission of
The Princess took time to visit the superbly appointed
Hospital “Kid Zone” and continued animated discussions there with the
staff and a group of press and media who had gathered for the occasion.
“I am delighted with my visit to Thailand,” she said.
“Everywhere I went, I was met with kindness, generosity and smiling
Visibly moved, the Princess informed the gathering that she will take
back to Denmark a lasting impression of the warmth and generosity of Thai
people. “Even the most disadvantaged want to give something,” she said,
adding that her message to the Danish people and government will be to
recommend more support for assistance programmes for Thailand and its
DEP launches 7th TIFF
Time for the Department of Acronyms?
The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) launched its 7th
Thailand International Furniture Fair (TIFF 2003) to boost Thailand as the
center of furniture export in Asia.
Minister Adisai Potharamik tries out rubber tree furniture.
Adisai presided over the opening ceremony of TIFF 2003 at BITEC and later
met the press.
design chair made from the rubber tree.
your room with modern furniture.
Following the success of TIFF in previous years, the DEP
held TIFF 2003 in early March at BITEC (Bangkok International Trade &
Exhibition Center), Bang Na, with this year’s theme ‘Quality with
There were more than 223 companies with 1,055 booths
which attracted importers, wholesalers and distributors from USA, Europe,
Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and
The opening ceremony was presided over by Commerce
Minister Adisai Potharamik. He said the major markets for furniture export
are USA and Japan. Minister Adisai also said our furniture made from the
rubber tree attracts foreign importers and Thailand is becoming renowned in
the international markets because our products are made and designed as
modern, functional and aesthetic.
made by Kem’s Collection, one of the northern manufacturers.
the site map at the fair.
from Thaweephan Fine Furniture.
There were many northern region businesses at TIFF 2003,
including Big Master, Doa-Ngearn Handicraft Furniture, Nantiya Decor,
Oriental Look, Oriental Style, Thaweephan Fine Furniture, Kem’s
Collection, Phoenix King, Thai International Handicraft and V.C. Bamboo
After participating in TIFF, the order books are getting bigger and the
numbers of new importers has increased, said Thaweephan Fine Furniture’s
Thung-nguen and Brownie win the Dog Fashion Show
Dogs and owners enjoy flea style outfits!
The 2nd dog fashion show and fancy dog contest was held
on March 8 this year with many dogs (and their owners) participating at Kad
Suan Kaew Shopping Complex. There were 2 categories in the contest,
beautiful and creative fashion and twin fashions.
robot girl and robot dog marched on stage to win second prize!
funny and cute this Pug is!
the smartest dog in the world”
won top prize for wearing the most beautiful costume in the contest.
Unlike the usual dog shows, which are more serious and
competitive and run to strict doggy rules, this amusing show produced many
pretty dogs and dog lovers who were prepared to laugh together.
The breeds were weird and wonderful, and so were the
outfits. On stage were a Bulldog, Golden Retrievers, Shi-tzus, English
Cockers, Poodles, Miniature Pinchers, and Pugs.
The winner in beautiful and creative fashion was
Thung-ngeun, an English Cocker in a traditional English costume. Second
prize went to Cartoon, a Poodle, and the third was Java, a chubby Pug.
attack someone after the show’s over
twin has one of the more elegant costumes of the day.
me, love my angel, says the English Sheep Dog.
is chaotic but fantastic!
Brownie, an aptly named brown poodle and owner Metawee
Damrongrattananurak won first prize in the twin costumes. Second place was
the twin robots, Sutthida Mahawan and the Shi-tzu Best, and poodle Pepsi and
Kasalee Chairoj were third.
As an additional bonus, any dogs competing or even just visiting could
have free health checks carried out by veterinarians from the Veterinary
Faculty, Chiang Mai University. Several street dogs were initially
interested until they found there could be injections at the end!