Phuket

Tennis ace Vijay due in Phuket

PHUKET: World-renowned tennis player Vijay Amritraj, from India, will visit Phuket next week to tour tsunami-hit areas in the region as part of his role as a United Nation Messenger of Peace.

Mr Armritraj, well-known, since retiring from professional tennis, as a commentator on Grand Slam tennis events on the ESPN Star Sports network, was appointed one of only nine UN Messengers of Peace by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in February 2001. The only other sports personality to have received the honor is Muhammad Ali.

He will arrive to Thailand on the night of August 1, after which he will have a series of meetings with regional UN officials in Bangkok. From there he will fly to Phuket, meeting with Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura on Tuesday afternoon.

The following day he will be taken by Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chief Boonchai Somjai to see the tsunami early warning system.

He is also expected to visit Baan Kamala School and see other rebuilding projects in that community.

On August 4, he will return to Bangkok to meet with officials from the Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries before flying out to visit tsunami-hit areas in Sri Lanka and his native India.

Mr Amritraj’s tour is intended to demonstrate the UN’s commitment to tsunami recovery efforts in the region.

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