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Tsunami night candles at Patong and a sky lantern set to fly.

Complete Guide to Tsunami Day Events

Friday, December 14, 2007
MOST of the hard-hit communities along the Andaman Sea coast in Phang Nga have events scheduled for the third anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26.

On Phuket, 108 monks will gather at Loma Park in Patong in the morning to chant and pray.

In the evening, floral tributes will be made and thousands of candles will be lit and placed in the sand along the length of the beach.

Sky lanterns will also be released.

In the past, the memorial day has made for an interesting mix in Patong, with some tourists unaware of the nature of the event but anxious to join once they know the significance of the occasion.

The Boxing Day 2004 tsunami is still the one event that brings many questions from visitors. More than 300 people died along Phuket's coast that day.

Memorials have also bee planned for Krabi and especially on Phi Phi, where about 800 died.

In Phang Nga, where the majority of the 5395 victims perished and thousands more were affected, the ceremonies are likely to be more intense and heartfelt.

The main ceremony will take place at Bang Niang, on Chong Fah beach from 6pm. Princess Ubol Ratana will arrive at 7pm.

Her son, HM The King's grandson Bhumi Jensen, Khun Poom, was one of those killed by the big wave. He died while jetskiing off the beach.

In previous years, one sky lantern for every victim has been released on the anniversary. The same tribute is planned for this year.

On the beach there will be an exhibition celebrating the Prince's life and demonstrating what can be done to prepare in the unlikely event of another tsunami along the Thai coast.

In the morning, alongside the patrol boat that was guarding the prince and was washed two kilometres inland, a memorial event involving music will begin at 9am.

A speech will mark the formal recognition of the patrol boat, which can be seen from the main road, as an official tsunami memorial. There will also be a silent tribute to victims.

In Baan Nam Khem, where about 850 local villagers perished, trees will be planted to increase tsunami protection from 8am. The entire fleet of 300 fishing boats will join the ceremony that follows.

From 9.30am there will be a religious ceremony involving Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

At 11am the local sea gypsies will stage their own special tribute.

In the afternoon, from 1pm-3pm, locals will tell their own stories, exchanging information with listeners about what transpired during and after the tsunami.

At Bang Maruan, where the Thai Tsunami Victim Identification Centre and cemetery is the resting place for 380 victims, ceremonies begin at 1.30pm.

Five religions will be represented at a special service from 2pm.

Local Burmese will gather to mourn the previous day, from 8am on December 25 at Wat Bang Muang, on the main road.

In the afternoon, from 1pm, 60 families who lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and other relatives will gather to talk about their experiences.

This will be followed by a health clinic, with information available about some of the issues that arise among the local Burmese community.

DON'T MISS DIARY: Photo Exhibition

On December 30, the InsightOut Project will hold a musical event and an exhibition of photographs by 120 children who went about capturing their own lives.

The event will be from 5pm to 9 pm at Khao Lak Yoor Centre, Phang Nga.

Two free bands from different continents, the Thai folk-rock band, Caravan, and the German rock band, Durgas, will be featured.

The InsightOut photo exhibition moves to Phuket Aquarium from January 11, 2008, and will remain there for two months.

After the tsunami, international photographers established InsightOut so children who were victims of the big wave could show their feelings in a visual way.

Photographers are aged eight to 15 years old and include Thai-Buddhists, Thai-Muslim, Sea Gypsies and Burmese from Takuapa Baan Nam Kem, Bang Niang, Khao Lak and Thai Muang in Phang Nga.

This year children from three troubled southern provinces, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, are joining in.

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Friday February 23, 2024
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