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Video Report: Only B600k of B4mn raised for quake victims handed to Nepal Embassy so far

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Charitable islanders raised more than 4 million baht in the past week for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than 7,500 and affected an estimated 8mn people, according to the UN.

The funds raised through the ‘Phuket Together For Nepal Disaster Victims’ were originally to be given directly to the Embassy of Nepal on March 7 (story here). However, only about 600,000 baht, raised through the Thai-Nepali Shree Bhagawat Dhaam Sanatan Mandir Foundation, was turned over to the embassy on Thursday.

It was originally proposed that the president of the Thai-Nepali Foundation, Panuphong Limbuprasertkul, and Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong set up a joint bank account for the ‘Phuket Together For Nepal Disaster Victims’. However, Mr Panuphong’s name was removed from the plan and the funds were designated to be handled by the Phuket Governor, Provincial Treasury Office and Phuket Regional Revenue Office.

“The Krung Thai Bank account is being taken care of by government offices, while the Kasikorn Bank account that I immediately set up after the tragedy is being handled by the foundation,” explained Mr Panuphong.

“We have given the first round of money from the Kasikorn account to the Embassy – and we will be closing the account now. However, for the money raised at government offices and through the other bank account, I think the Thai government needs to collect it all and then send it Nepal in the name of the Thai people.”

Governor Nisit affirmed Mr Panuphong’s explanation of the changes.

“They are actually different accounts, in the same way that the Red Cross’s efforts to raise money are being handled differently,” explained Governor Nisit.

“The Kasikorn account number was set up in a way that allowed for the funds to be directly given to the Embassy. However, all the other donations – those being given at government offices and through the Krung Thai bank account – will be transferred to the Interior Ministry at the end of the month.”

The governor explained that the funds needed to be dealt with separately to ensure that donors were able to receive tax deduction benefits benefit from the government (story here).

The provincial government will continue to accept donations until the end of the month, confirmed Gov Nisit.

Donations can be made at the Damrongtham Center (ombudsman’s office) at Phuket Provincial Hall; directly at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket Town; at the Phuket Red Cross Center at Saphan Hin; or any government office on the island.

Donations can also be made directly into Krung Thai Bank, bank account number 8050669254.

Dornath Aryal, the Embassy of Nepal’s Charge d’Affaires, graciously accepted the 600,000 baht donation collected through the Thai-Nepali Foundation.

“We should unite to help each other,” Mr Aryal told the Gazette. “On behalf of Nepali people, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Phuket people. Thank you very much.”

Additional reporting by Woranut Pechdee

— Chutharat Plerin


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