Special Report 1 for Andaman News TV11 (VHF dial) 8.30am + maybe FM90.5 Radio Thailand 6pm, both broadcast to Phang Nga, Krabi & Phuket provinces, FM108 Mazz Radio 7.30pm in Phuket & Phuket Cable TV Channel 1 at 7, 10.30 or 11pm, Friday 28 December 2007 & http://news.prd.go.th
Early evening, people from all walks of life, residents and tourists of many nationalities gathered at Chong Fah Beach at Bang Niang in Thakuapa of Phang-Nga province to attend the multi-faith ceremonies for those who perished in the 2004 Tsunami. It's been 3 years since the tragic natural disaster. People on the 6 Andaman Coastal Provinces of Phuket, Phang-Nga, Krabi, Trang, Satun and Ranong learnt from the past, moved forward for sustainable living with nature, but at the same time did not forget the loved ones who departed. The ceremonies started with Buddhism, Islamic, Christianity for both Protestants and Catholics, and finally Sikhism, as the natural disaster claimed over 5,000 lives of residents and tourists of different nationalities in Thailand. The ceremonies and the remembrance were also attended by 22 foreign ambassadors, diplomatic members and representatives from 2 international organizations. They all came in respect of those who perished and in support of local people in the Andaman region as well as families and friends of the victims.
Just after 7 pm, Princess UbonRatana arrived with her daughter Khun Siri kit-ti-ya to preside over the opening ceremony of the 3rd year remembrance. Upon arrival the Princess and her daughter viewed the exhibition about Khun Poom. It showed photos, Khun Poom's Home, a project which is being constructed at Wachira Hospital in Phuket, for the education and development of children. Despite the rain the ceremony went on in respectful manner. Khunying Tipawadee Meksawan reported the objective in organizing the event. Then a local student, On-Chanok NaThale, who lost her father in the Tsunami and is now studying at a Rajaprachanukroh school under HM the King's Patronage read out poem in Thai. Followed by a song 'Tears in Heaven' sung by Wasu Sang-singkaew. A member of the Princess's club for youth 'To Be Number One' sang 'Eternal Love' Then the princess gave a speech in Thai. Before lighting a candle and observing one minute of silence.
After that the princess released a floating lantern up to the sky. The number released in the evening signified the 5,395 people who died in the natural disaster. The sky over the Andaman Sea were lit and brightened once again for people who departed and as the government aimed to uplift the morale for families and friends of victims. It was an event to help promote hope, spirit and renewal for us all to keep moving forward. (Final song 'Wind of Hope' )