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
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
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
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.
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.
Health, Beauty & Cuisine fair
HSH Ticomporn Yugala presided over
the opening ceremony for the 2nd annual Chiang Mai Best Shopping Fair.
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
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
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.
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
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.