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Vol. XII No.23 - Sunday November 17 - Saturday November 30, 2013


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The role of the ICRC in the world

The Swiss Lanna Society hosts the ICRC head for the North

CÚdric Piralla of the International Committee of the Red Cross (2nd right) is seen here with members of the Swiss Lanna Society and Chef Stefan.

By Shana Kongmun
As CÚdric Piralla of the International Committee of the Red Cross noted when he opened the talk held at a dinner by the Swiss Lanna Society at the Imperial Mae Ping on Friday, November 8, 2013, “everyone knows what the Red Cross is” but, as his talk made clear, we are not always clear on what they do and how they operate. His informative and passionate talk on his work with the ICRC ranged from the beginnings of the ICRC, its goals, its work and the way it achieves those goals.
It’s not just about health care, he noted, although that is, of course, what the ICRC is most famous for. He noted that the one of the things that the Swiss people can be very proud is their history of respecting dignity and the role that the ICRC has played in that since its founding 150 years ago. CÚdric started with his history with the ICRC noting that he actually started studying wolf behavior in Canada and realized that until he could also understand human behavior he wouldn’t convince people to understand wolves. His first assignment was as a cook in Angola, he laughed that Chiang Mai was his first peaceful assignment in 20 years. He added that when he is asked “What is the worst place you have ever worked?” he had to add that there has been no “worst place” that “It is never about the place but about the people” and the people can be fantastic.
He said that the main goals of the ICRC are to protect and assist the victims of armed conflict; to assist the victims of conflict “Assistance without protection means absolutely nothing”; prevention through the promotion of the law of war and its implementation (the IHL and the Geneva Conventions); and cooperation by supporting detaining authorities to improve the conditions of detention, whether in prisons, immigration detention centers, or migrant camps and supporting national societies in capacity building.
He noted that more than 60% of the people in jail in Thailand are in for drugs, in detention they talk to authorities to improve conditions, carry on confidential talks with prisoners to see how they can help and help re-establish contacts with the families of detainees. Other important work involves engaging in dialogue with all parties in a conflict to make sure that everyone follows the rule of law.
The ICRC works in cooperation with the Thai Red Cross to work with war wounded that come over from Myanmar noting that 70% of the people being treated are victims of landmines and 70% of those are civilians. More than 40,000 people in Myanmar are in need of prosthesis, he noted it’s one of the most polluted countries in the world in terms of landmines. He noted that a recent triumph is the growth of the ICRC in Yangon as well as the establishment of offices in Cambodia and other areas in need.
The talk was very interesting and informative and gave everyone a renewed sense of purpose as CÚdric noted, “If you want to help, do so on a local level See those migrants in the back of the pickup truck? Ask what can you do to help.”
 


Beauty queens strut their stuff

Miss Grand International 2013 in Chiang Mai

Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiang Mai is joined by Ellen Wit, Marketing Director of ECC International and guests as well as the contestants at the competition held at Promenada Resort Mall for best costume on November 8, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg and Student Trainees CMRU
The newest beauty competition to hit Thailand, Miss Grand International, saw beauty queens from around the world hit the runway at the Promenada Resort Mall on Friday, November 8, 2013. Miss Grand International is being held in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Singha Corporation. The theme of the show is “Stop the War” as the contest wishes to support the end to violence around the world.
Mr. Nawat Issarakrisin , Chairman and the Founder of Miss Grand International holds the license for the new beauty competition which will be held at the Beauty Thunderdome at Muang Thong Thani on November 19, 2013. About 80 women from around the globe are taking part in the competition and Thailand’s super boxing star Buakaw Bunchamek will crown Miss Grand International live on Channel 7.
Mr. Nawat said ‘Miss Grand International 2013 the next best thing to happen in our country and it is not just for me, but for all Thai people to be proud together.” He noted that the event will show the readiness of Thailand to host international events with worldwide standards and this will also send the message that Thailand has its own prestigious beauty contest to welcome beauty queens from around the world.
The contestants are being taken to visit all the cultural and historical aspects of Thailand including a visit to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple, get a traditional Thai massage at Wat Pho. Learn how to cook Thai food and taste authentic Thai food. He added that they will see how friendly Thai people are and realize why Thailand is named the Land of Smiles. In Chiang Mai they visited Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai Zoo, and attended a kathin ceremony at Wat Yaang Kuang before heading back to Bangkok for the rest of the competition.
The winner of the contest will be crowned Miss Grand International and win around $30,000 plus accommodation while on duty as Miss Grand International. Awards will also be given for Best Costume, Best Swimsuit, Miss Congeniality, etc at the show that will be broadcast on November 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 7.


Volunteers enlisted to help Chinese tourists in Chiang Mai

New program inaugurated by Ministry of Tourism

Volunteers meet for the launch of the new project for Chinese speakers to assist tourists at major destinations around the city.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Pureesrisak presided over the launch of the new volunteer program to assist Chinese tourists that was held at the front of the Dusit d2 Hotel Chiang Mai where he and Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sanguansat welcomed 50 volunteers. Caravans of tuk tuks joined in the event.
The blockbuster Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand” inspired many Chinese people to come to Thailand and visit the locations in the movie with Chiang Mai being a top destination. Additionally the Lonely Planet guide voted Chiang Mai as ‘Best Destination for Culture Experience 2013’ from the competition ‘Lonely Planet Traveler Destination Awards 2013’. And the Community Based Tourism which got Destination Awards for Baan Mae-Kampong community which won ‘Best Home Stay in Thailand’. The reward ‘Best Spa in Thailand’ is Oasis Spa. Chiang Mai also took home 12 Thailan d Tourism Awards from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The Minister noted that the number of Chinese tourists is growing quickly and so the Ministry organized the volunteer project enlisting Chinese speakers to learn more about Chiang Mai and how to give information to tourists. From November 1, 2013 to May 30, 2014, the volunteers will go to attractions in Chiang Mai in order to help and give information for Chinese tourists. And also interpret between tourists and travel agencies thus giving tourists and tour operators more confidence and enable tourists to learn about Lanna traditions and culture.
Volunteers will be found at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Jet Yod, Wat Bupparam, Phuphing Palace, Wiang Khum Kam, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Maesa Elephant Camp, San Kamphaeng Hot Spring, Warorot Market, Night Bazaar, Bo-Sang, Baan Tawai, and other popular destinations.


Get healthy, get beautiful

Health, Beauty & Cuisine fair

HSH Ticomporn Yugala presided over the opening ceremony for the 2nd annual Chiang Mai Best Shopping Fair.

Arunee Chiangta
Student Trainee CMRU

The 2nd Chiang Mai Best Shopping Fair 2013 was held at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center from November 3 – 5, 2013 and focused on the best Health, Cuisine and Beauty products from Thai companies. HSH Ticomporn Yugala opened the event which was held to promote Thai products and services to foreign tourists, the ASEAN and world markets.
The fair featured health products such as teas, clothing, Thai herbs and foods, beauty products from such local companies as Sabu Sabu, Stevia sweetener and many other items for sale. There was a food court area offering local fare as well.


German food, German Beer, and German Drinking songs

Yes – it’s Oktoberfest

General Manager Stella Jacobs is joined by Korean Airlines Station Manager Choon Ho Cho and his wife at the event.

By Shana Kongmun
The Holiday Inn Chiang Mai celebrated Oktoberfest in style with Paulaner Beer and Bavarian drinking songs from the German band Anton. The staff and Ken Whitty, who supplied the Paulaner beers on offer, dressed in traditional Bavarian lederhosen and the women in dirndls. Locals joined the traditional long tables enthusiastically, eating grilled sausages, potato salad and many traditional German favorites like sauerbraten.

Jovial Irishman Ken Whitty is an honorary German with his love of German beer. He started with a Beer Garden in Bangkok and continues to grow the Paulaner brand throughout Thailand.

The evening was kept lively with the music of Anton, who kept the crowd busy singing along and raising their glasses in toast. There were many prizes and giveaways as well as games on stage with guests to the event taking part in ring tosses and word games. The more sober people managed to take top prizes naturally! The biggest prize of the evening was a giveaway by Bangkok Air with flights to Krabi.
General Manager Stella Jacobs said they hope to make this an annual event as it turned out to be such a roaring success. “Although next year we will have a karaoke screen so the audience can sing along with the German songs”, she said.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

The role of the ICRC in the world

Beauty queens strut their stuff

Volunteers enlisted to help Chinese tourists in Chiang Mai

Get healthy, get beautiful

German food, German Beer, and German Drinking songs

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