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Pornthip to return to Wat Yan Yao



PHUKET: Battling forensic scientist Dr Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunan is to resume her work on identifying tsunami victims after Justice Minister Pongthep Thepkarnjana intervened in the row between her and Thai Tsunami Victim Identification Centre (TTVI) boss Pol Gen Nopadol Soomboonsub.

Dr Pornthip and her team left Phang Nga last week after the mortuary at Wat Yan Yao, which had been their base, was closed.

During a night out in Phuket before she left for Bangkok, Dr Pornthip slammed “the autocrats”, whom she accused of orchestrating the closure.

However, after a meeting this morning with Dr Pornthip, Gen Nopadol and Justice Ministry permanent secretary Somchai Wongsawat, K. Pongthep decided that Dr Porntip should be allowed to return to Wat Yan Yao.

Foreign forensic scientists, who have been helping in the identification process, were barred from the meeting.

A stony-faced Dr Pornthip entered the meeting without saying a word to Gen Nopadol.

After more than four hours, the pair agreed to cooperate to identify bodies thought to be those of Thai people which are still at Wat Yan Yao. Both also agreed not to speak to the media about each other.

As he left, Gen Nopadol blamed the media for provoking the row by “misinterpreting” his comments about Dr Pornthip.

Dr Pornthip said her team expected to resume work shortly, and that she and Gen Nopadol intended to discuss any problems via video conferencing.


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