HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai sends medical and rescue personnel to help in the South

World Vision Foundation of Thailand sends survival kits to the South

TAT’s 2005 target stays, but top priority now is humanitarian

Open your heart and your purse

CMU sends medical staff to help in the South

US Consul General Bea Camp joins blood donation line-up

Doris Kraushaar celebrates birthday with Pell-Mell Art Exhibition

Chiang Mai sends medical and rescue personnel to help in the South

Nopniwat Krailerg

On December 27, Chiang Mai Municipality sent 70 medical and rescue staff, diving equipment and other clothes and necessities as relief for people affected by the tsunamis in Pang-nga, Phuket and Krabi.

Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranuprakorn helps staff to carry the donated equipment and clothing for people affected in the southern provinces.

Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranuprakorn and Ken Santitham, permanent secretary for Chiang Mai Municipality supervised the loading of the trucks to the southern provinces at the Chiang Mai Municipality building.

Mayor Boonlert said that the 20 doctors and nurses and 50 volunteer rescue personnel showed the concern and spirit of Chiang Mai people for those affected by the tragedy. It is not known how long the volunteers will need to stay in the South.

The municipality has set up a center for people who would like to help with donations of money and clothes. The municipality will send on all the donations.

The caravan of cars and trucks carrying volunteers to help people in the South.

World Vision Foundation of Thailand sends survival kits to the South

World Vision Foundation

The World Vision Foundation, in cooperation with the 4th Army Region, Minister of Defense, has donated 2,000 survival kits to affected people in Krabi province.

The Urgent Disaster Relief Team of the World Vision Foundation drafted the plan to assist people affected in Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satul.

The plan has three stages. Firstly, the survival kits are sent to the people to provide necessities such as dried and canned foods, milled rice, drinking water and toiletries.

The second stage sees kitchen wares, clothes, student uniforms and stationery being distributed and thirdly the Foundation helps in building and repairing residences and promoting occupational skills.

The World Vision Foundation’s young members in the six southern provinces are all reported as safe. Disadvantaged children in Phuket who are Foundation members were undergoing education at Thalang district. Fortunately, when the tidal wave came in, the children and staff saw it and ran from danger.

The World Vision Foundation seeks donations to help affected people by depositing money to the account of the World Vision Foundation of Thailand, the Thai Farmers Bank (Akamai branch) account number 059-2-40974-7, or Bangkok Bank (Thong Lor branch) account number 206-043600-9.

TAT’s 2005 target stays, but top priority now is humanitarian

Jeremy Colson

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) immediate priority is humanitarian rather than economic, one of the authority’s top executives has said.

“Many of the tourists affected by the tsunami are still here, and new tourists are still arriving daily. We want to do make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. We want to do everything we can to reassure them,” Phornsiri of the TAT told TTG Daily News.

She said she was traveling to Phuket to see for herself which areas are safe and which are not yet ready to receive visitors.

“When I have done this and consulted with colleagues we will be in a position to tell our overseas offices and the trade what they should say to consumers,” Phornsiri said.

She added that it was still too early to assess the impact of the tsunami disaster on international visitor arrivals, but the TAT would continue to try meet government targets. The government is expecting Thailand to attract 12 million tourists in 2005.

The TAT will be asking the government for a special budget to promote the three severely affected provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, said Phornsiri.

“We have an uphill task, but we have been through other crises in the recent past and we will soon be working closely with the private sector to do what is necessary to restore confidence,” she said.

Open your heart and your purse

The plans for a huge charity activity to help the victims of the tsunami catastrophe is well underway and will take place on Friday, January 14 in support of the King’s Foundation.

The venue will be the roof garden of Hillside Plaza 4 on Huay Kaow Road, which is easily accessible for people in town and those who come by car or coach. As this party is organized unexpectedly to give quick and immediate support for victims and survivors, the complete evening plan will only be available shortly before.

Watchara Tantranon is one of the main sponsors.

What we know so far is: The party will start at 7 p.m., will be for people from the whole community, for all nationalities, and is organized by an international team.

Confirmed so far are renowned singers like Khun Sumatree who promised to be there, dancers, ‘The Jazz Band’, a pop band, raffles, a student band, more raffles, and a big auction.

Food and beer, whiskey and soft drinks (limit two per person) will be included in the entrance fee. Each person is encouraged to bring or better still drop it off at Hillside Plaza’s reception desk, a bottle of something for the British bottle booth (whatever that might be). Bottles can be anything from Fanta to Ketchup, perfume, beer or wine ... chances for this will be sold during the evening.

Food, two drinks per person, chairs, tables, everything will be sponsored by Chiang Mai businesses and the main raffle prize will be a one week holiday in a magnificent private villa with swimming pool. The entrance fee is 500 baht for adults and 200 baht for children up to 12 years. Raffle tickets will be sold at 50 baht each.

More information can be obtained by telephone from Steve Yarnold 09 555 9179 or via e-mail [email protected] .com as well as steve_yarnold [email protected]

Entrance tickets are already available at Hillside reception, Rimping Supermarket on Saturday January 8, and in a booth on Woali Silver Street Walking Street on Saturday, and in a booth on Sunday’s Walking Street. Ticket reservations can also be made through Marion at Chiangmai Mail, [email protected] chiangmai-mail.com - tel. 053 234 102.

CMU sends medical staff to help in the South

Saksit Meesubkwang

Three teams of 24 medical staff; doctors, nurses and medical science staff, and 200 sets of medical supplies have been sent to help affected people in the six affected southern provinces of Thailand hit by the tsunamis, said Prof Dr Supoj Wuttikarn, dean of the Medicine Faculty, Chiang Mai University (CMU).

Foreigners line up to donate their blood to help others injured in the southern provinces.

Two forensic pathologists were sent to help the affected southern provinces to assist in identification of the dead.

Both Thai and foreigners have been asked to donate blood to help injured people as the blood stocks are not large enough for the demand. The Faculty of Medicine called on the CMU students to donate and received 100 units of blood from them.

Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross and Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office have set up a blood donation center in front of the Suriwong Plaza on Thapae Road. At the center, a number of foreigners were seen lined up to donate their blood to help as Thais do not have a high percentage of Rhesus Negative blood. On the first day, 250 units of blood were received.

CMU’s Faculty of Medicine also set up a donation center to help the six southern provinces. People can donate any necessity at the center throughout 24 hours. For more information, call 0-53943011 or 0-53946150.

People interested in donating blood can also contact 0-5394-5623 ext 11, 12 or Blood Bank, 1st floor of Sripat building of the Maharach Nakorn Chiang Mai (Suan Dok) Hospital.

US Consul General Bea Camp joins blood donation line-up

Nopniwat Krailerg

US Consul General Bea Camp was amongst those who lined up at the Chiang Mai Red Cross center to donate blood to maintain blood stocks depleted by the southern devastation. The blood groups most needed are the Rhesus Negative as Thai nationals do not have this classification in any significant numbers.

The American Consul General said that she was willing to donate her blood to help the injured people affected, and expressed the view that Thai people had shown great generosity in giving assistance to the shattered lives, both foreigners and other Thais.

This was the US consul general’s second blood donation. Previously she had helped save the life of a severely injured foreigner when she worked as a lecturer at Chiang Mai University some years ago.

On December 28, the Red Cross received a total 150 units of donated blood but only 15 units are Rhesus Negative. The blood has been sent to the 6 southern provinces.

Doris Kraushaar celebrates birthday with Pell-Mell Art Exhibition

Staff reporters

Local artist Doris Kraushaar’s sixth solo exhibition, titled Pell-Mell, was opened last week at the Writers Club and Wine Bar, which, along with her birthday, allowed for a double celebration.

(From left) Robert Tilley (Writers Club), ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, (Chiangmai Ballet Academy), Lorenz Ferrari, Doris Kraushaar and Dominique Leutwiler.

In her usual fashion, she is constantly exploring different styles of art. This time she used two different techniques with oil on canvas and pencil/crayon on paper, using the human form as the inspiration. The colors were stunning and vibrant, a reflection of her energetic personality.

An international mix of people of all ages filled the Writers Club.

Well known in Chiang Mai, her latest offering attracted many friends and fellow artists, with the Writers Club overflowing with a constant flow of new visitors.

Doris described this exhibition as the result of a struggle within herself. “At first, I was angry with myself. I tried to convince my inner self and my hand to follow a predestined technique. But I failed in this struggle and I finally learned to accept this urge as a gift and not a curse.”

Pell-Mell can be viewed until January 28 at the Writers Club and Wine Bar on Rachadamnoen Road.

Dr. Joerg Loeschmann from the Goethe Institute (far left) came from Bangkok for the ‘Pell-Mell’ opening.