HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Families of 19 Phuket police officers killed by tsunami receive help

TITS on the radio

Movement in Nature exhibition popular

Let’s stick together

Payap University Concert

Families of 19 Phuket police officers killed by tsunami receive help

Alastair Connon (Foreign Advisor, National Federation of Police Monitors)

The relatives of the 19 police officers who died in the tsunami were presented with gifts and donations of over 200,000 baht by the KTTR (National Federation of Police Monitors) during a visit to the South.

(From left) Pol. Maj. Gen. Rungrot Bekanan, Sulemas Suthisamphat, Deputy Commissioner Pol. Gen. Boonpen Bumpenboon, KTTR Spokesman Suthin Bourtoom, Foreign Advisor Alastair Connon and Ar-Thorn Asawatepkul.

Thais seemed to be able to handle death better than foreigners but even they could barely mask the grief and misery – the tears of the pregnant, young officer’s wife, the mother of a lost son and a brother who bravely fought back tears.

It was really difficult to speak to them, and what words we did use seemed barely adequate – what could we say, only that they haven’t been forgotten and the attention of the whole world was focussed on them. Supporters from as far North as Chiang Mai had come to help them

One of the chief benefactors and a senior committee member of KTTR, Khun Sulemas Suthisamphat, presented the first of many envelopes to a weeping mother. This is not the first time her generosity has been forthcoming. Visits to families of dead police officers in the southern provinces in 2004 and scheduled KTTR trips next month led by General Pol. Kovit Wattana, National Royal Thai Police Commissioner attest to that.

TITS on the radio

A new kind of aural sex?

Michael Vogt

Grit Sripaurya, a 25 years old entrepreneur, wanted something new to listen to. The Chiang Mai native remarked, “I was tired of the status quo, the same old cookie cutter programs, too many commercials, and not enough music.”

Having said that, the music aficionado drummed-up a number of friends and soon the Chiang Mai Tourist Information and Travel Service (TITS) was founded. With that snappy acronym, who wouldn’t listen to the new radio show, and since November 2004, the airwaves over Chiang Mai are not what they used to be.

Broadcasting live 17 hours a day: (from back row left) jazz specialist Russel, producer and founder Grit Sripaurya, program manager Deborah Thompson van Dijk, desperately trying to distract DJ Zero from his work.

Many English-speaking residents of Chiang Mai have commented that this town needs a radio station serving the needs of the non-Thai speaking community (just as Chiangmai Mail does with the written word), and TITS appears to be achieving just that. 17 hours per day, seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m., providing great musical variety for everybody’s tastes and ears. From Oldies, easy listening, and ‘torque’ of the town, to Jazz, Reggae, Blues and Rock, Hip-Hop and R&B, TITS seem to have it all. An international mix of 17 Thai, American, Irish, Filipino and luk-krueng DJs produce the right mix to provide something for everyone. Listeners are invited to call in, share ideas and views and get your message across, or simply to request a song.

Although the broadcast currently covers the whole Chiang Mai vicinity, Mae Rim and (almost) Hang Dong, TITS will soon be available via the internet through its own website. The more conventional radio listeners can tune in on FM 106.50 MHz, and enjoy a program that is a first of its kind in the North, dedicated to music, national and local news.

The TITS people suggest you let ‘em all hang out!

Movement in Nature exhibition popular

Staff reporters

The latest art exhibition at the Chiang Mai’s Writers Club and Wine Bar opened in mid-February, and nearly half the paintings on show have already been sold.

Peerasak Sermratsiri is proud of his second exhibition at the Writer’s Club Chiang Mai.

“They were being snapped up as soon as we put them on the wall,” said Robert Tilley, who runs the club and bar with his Thai partner Tong.

The exhibition, “Movement in Nature” is the club’s first to feature a Thai artist - Peerasak Sermratsiri, a 25 year old graduate of Bangkok’s Thaivichitsilp Art School.

“His wonderfully energetic work appeals especially to young people,” said Robert. “Two young British women holidaying here would probably have taken the lot if they had found room in their luggage. As it was, they bought one of the larger works.”

Nature can be both a creator and the cause of disaster. It all depends on time. The interpretation is up to the viewer.

Some see Peerasak’s work as a good investment. “He’s just breaking out, developing his own very individual style and his paintings are very affordable,” said Robert. “He could have an assured future.”

“Movement in Nature” is particularly topical in the aftermath of the tsunami, although Peerasak did not paint the exhibited works with that catastrophe in mind. His abstracts illustrate the threatening forces that lie beneath the disordered beauty of nature.

Let’s stick together

With chocolate?

Sandy Clark

On the diplomatic scene, and social scene, (from left) Dr. Hans Penth (CMU), Dr. George Sioris (Ambassador of Greece a.h.), and Dararat Shinawatara, Padma Jacobs with Chatra Baude, Wanphen Dirksen, Dr. Karl Jacobs, David Summers, Supatara Angkasit, Mrs. Penth, Mrs. Archarachinores, host Hagen Dirksen, Tamiko Shinohara, Chamaiphan Baude, Hon French Consul Thomas Baude, Hon Austrian Consul Pravit Archarachinores and C.G. of Japan Katsuhiro Shinohara

Valentines Day is renowned to be the day for lovers. However, in the opinion of the hosts of their annual Valentine’s Reception, the German Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen and his wife Wanphen, this particular day should also serve to reflect and stress friendship.

German Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen and his wife Wanphen with Book Kithavadana.

Their venue, Saen Kham Terrace at Ban Naifun 2, was decorated with hearts and cupids, roses and candles, and the guests immediately felt at home and made welcome.

Book Kithavadana, one of Thailand’s great baritones entertained the guests.

Hagen remarked on the changing mix of guests each year, but also said that especially in the light of the recent horrific tsunami one should not forget to stick together as friends.

A Thai-German buffet and wines, combined with musical entertainment provided by local outstanding baritone Book Kithavadana produced a most enjoyable evening.

During the Cocktail reception: (From left) Kanok Suvannavistur, general manager of the Empress Hotel in Chiang Mai; Mrs. Reichert, Dr. Pathawee and Dr. Sakornrat from Dental Art Clinic Chiang Mai, Assist. Prof. Pongsak Angkasit CMU and at the rear Prof. Reichert.

Payap University Concert

Payap University will have a concert of song and praise in celebration of Payap’s 30th Anniversary, featuring the compositions of Ajarn Garrett Intorn. It will be on February 26, at 7.30 p.m. and will include vocal and guitar soloists as well as pieces performed by McGilvary’s choir and the Dara College Instrumental Ensemble. It will be held at the auditorium of the Soamsawali Building (Faculty of Nursing, across from McCormick Hospital). Everybody is welcome, tickets are 100 baht and may be obtained at the door or at the McGilvary Faculty of Theology.

CORRECTION: In Chiangmai Mail Vol. IV, Issue 4, page 10, in the review of the Bernice Silk concert we intimated that the Disabled Center sells wheelchairs and other mobility appliances. This was incorrect, as the Disabled Center has always given these away to the needy who might not be able to afford them.