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Asia Dive News : Tsunami anniversary project announced

Bangkok, Thailand - Six major activities would commemorate the first anniversary of the Dec 26 tsunami disaster under a project planned by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. Project ''Clear-sky Andaman - Care for the Environment'' will involve the rehabilitation of natural resources and the environment to raise public awareness of natural disasters, the ministry's permanent secretary Petipong Pungbun na Ayudhya said.

Six major activities would promote cooperation between the state, the mass media, the private sector and the public to rehabilitate coastal resources such as mangrove and beach forests, coral reefs, and marine flora and fauna.

Mr Petipong said that in the 10 months since the tsunami, the ministry had provided assistance for affected people, cleaned up areas ravaged by the tidal waves, created new water resources and monitored the health of the environment.

Source: Bangkok Post

VIP event to mark tsunami anniversary
Over 10,000 guests will be invited to a government-organised event on December 26 to mark the first anniversary of the tsunami, Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop said yesterday. After a meeting of the organising committee, Suwat said memorial services would be held for victims between 9.30am and 10.30am at Patong Beach and Kamala Beach in Phuket province, Bang Niang and Nam Khem villages in Phang Nga province, and Phi Phi Island in Krabi.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will preside over the foundation-laying ceremony of the tsunami memorial in Phang Nga’s Khao Lak Lamru National Park in the afternoon, followed by an official memorial service.

Suwat said five short-listed designs for the national tsunami memorial would be presented to guests and the winning design will be announced the following May.

The government will invite one relative of each of the 2,400 people who died in the tsunami, 1,700 of whom were foreigners, and 11,000 people who were injured in the disaster. He said the government would sponsor the airfares of everyone and pay for their accommodation from December 25 to 26.

The Foreign Ministry has compiled a list of VIP guests for the event, including three heads of state, four presidents, 30 ministers and 64 other VIPs. He said the list would be finalised by November 1.

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were among the VIP guests, said Phang Nga MP Krit Srifa.

Suwat said activities such as water sports, a marathon, traditional dances and New Year countdown would be organised from December 28 onwards to restore the confidence of tourists and investors.

The authorities will finish installing the early warning system at 62 locations in the six tsunami-affected provinces before December 26, he said.

Source: The Nation