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An inspiration for the world – Mu Pa mission chief in New York

The Thaiger & The Nation



An inspiration for the world – Mu Pa mission chief in New York | The Thaiger

“The recent multinational rescue operation to free the Mu Pa football team members from Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province should be an inspiration for people around the globe to help one another.”

– Mission’s chief, Narongsak Ostanakorn

“I hope this experience inspires people to start living for others,” Narongsak said.

“That would be a game changer for the world.”

Narongsak was speaking after receiving the 2018 Game Changer of the Year award at a ceremony hosted by the Asia Society. Narongsak, now governor of Payao province, was Chiang Rai governor when the 13 Mu Pa football players went missing in the Tham Luang caves in late June.

He headed up the 17 day successful mission that caught global attention and dominated the headlines throughout the period. Joining Narongsak on stage were deputy coach Ekkapon Chantawong and one of the young footballers, Adul Samon.

Adul earned international praise for his English skills during a conversation with the two British divers who first found the group 10 days after they went missing without food in the dark, cold and wet cave. He was also an indispensable help in the following week as preparations were made between the Thai and english-speaking experts that figured out how to extract the entire team alive.

Ekkapon was also hailed for his mentoring of the boys and his advice that helped them survive the ordeal.

Also receiving the same award was Indra Nooyi, the barrier-shattering chairman and former CEO of PepsiCo, who was recognised for her transformative stewardship of the iconic American company. Former US President Bill Clinton presented Nooyi with the honour, praising her work to steer Pepsi towards healthier products in spite of investor pressure not to.

The Asia Game Changer Awards was an occasion to recognise those who had taken extraordinary risks to save lives. Syria’s White Helmets, a group of volunteers pulled from all walks of life, have rescued many thousands of innocent civilians trapped in the country’s civil war. The heroes of Fukushima worked tirelessly in the desperate days after the 2011 earthquake to contain a crisis that threatened Japan. And Dr Munjed Al Muderis, who fled Iraq and endured many trying months as a refugee in Australia, pioneered a surgical procedure that has given injured men and women the gift of mobility.

Others awardees were: Wang Shi, a Chinese real estate developer and advocate for environmental sustainability; Mira Rai, a child soldier turned champion distance runner from Nepal; the founders of Koolulam, a musical initiative building bridges through song in Israel; and the awardwinning Afghan Girls Robotics Team.

“I dream that one day we’ll wake up and not spend money on war machines, but [rather] foresting the desert and managing the earth’s large population,” Al Muderis said.

An inspiration for the world - Mu Pa mission chief in New York | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation


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Chiang Rai

Cave-rescue mural now moved to official Tham Luang memorial

The Thaiger & The Nation



Cave-rescue mural now moved to official Tham Luang memorial | The Thaiger

by Natthawat Laping

The large mural depicting “The Heroes” from the dramatic cave rescue in Chiang Rai in June/July this year has now been installed at the new memorial pavilion at the mouth of the Tham Luang cave.

The 14×3 metre canvas was moved from Wat Rong Khun this morning, along with another two paintings of the smaller size (each is 4 x 3 metre) under the title “Nang Non”. One was created by National Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and the other created by various northern artists.

Somluk Pantiboon, the artist who led the team that built the teak pavilion commemorating the rescue of the 13 members of the Mu Pa football club from flooded Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district in June and July, said the facility was 95 per cent complete.

He credited the fast pace of construction to the dedication of those involved, adding that such a project would normally take 18 months rather than four.

Somluk said setting the pillars revealed a fine, soft soil rendered golden in colour due to its high iron oxide content. They mixed it with the concrete used for parts of the structure.

“The soil is yellow, just like the mud that oozed out of the cave during the rescue mission,” he said.

Those parts of the pavilion have a unique golden hue as a result, negating the need for exterior paint and nicely matching the colour of the teak.

Somluk’s team has also prepared a site in front of the pavilion where a statue of Lt-Commander Saman Gunan, the former Navy Seal who died during the rescue mission, will be erected on Thursday.


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Chiang Rai

New book recounts Thai cave rescue of Wild Boars

The Thaiger & The Nation



New book recounts Thai cave rescue of Wild Boars | The Thaiger

PHOTOS:, The National,

On June 23 2018, the world first heard about the disappearance of 12 Thai boys, the young Mu Pa football team and their assistant coach, in a cave system in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.

“When the cave was unexpectedly flooded, the boys, aged between 11 and 16, and 24 year old Ekapol “Coach Ek” Jantawong, were trapped deep inside, with no means of communication with the outside world. Only a scooter and 11 bicycles they had left in the bushes outside the cave offered a clue to their whereabouts.”

When the boys failed to return home that night it was their head coach and distraught parents who rushed to the cave, and began calling out for their boys.

“The only answer came from the cave itself, the echoes bouncing the names back at them” writes Journalist Matt Gutman in his new book, The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand. 

New book recounts Thai cave rescue of Wild Boars | News by The Thaiger

Chief national correspondent for America’s ABC News, Mat Gutman covered the rescue operation on location. His account is well researched, including interviews with dozens of local witnesses, experts and rescuers. As the first published work on the incident (many more of which are expected to follow) there is high expectations for it to be made into a feature film.

The story appears to be made for the big screen; as a desperate situation brings an international team of experts to pull off an almost lunatic escape plan in a complex underwater cave system. The book chronicles the background of all the boys and their assistant coach and how they struggled to find higher ground as they were forced deeper into the caves.

How they practiced meditation to help pass the hours submerged in almost total darkness, managing what little food and light they had. A small army being formed outside the caves, desperate to rescue the boys, with international help eventually arriving to help give another perspective to the problem.

The book follows the arrival of foreigners whilst the local community comes together to help the group of young men escape what to some seemed to be a lost cause, and then succeed.

Since the events in the book the boys and their coach were ordained as monk novices (except for one), travel the US, appear on the ‘Ellen Show’ and meet and train with football legend Zlatan Ibrahimović.

New book recounts Thai cave rescue of Wild Boars | News by The Thaiger

Come the final page, and despite the death of retired Thai Seal Saman Gunan, who perished while laying guidelines in a flooded passage, the reader of The Boys in the Cave will be forgiven for repeating the rescue camp’s battle cry of “Hooyah!”, and joyfully punching the air.

SOURCE: The Daily Star

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Chiang Rai

Second major shootout and drug haul in Chiang Rai this week

The Thaiger & The Nation



Second major shootout and drug haul in Chiang Rai this week | The Thaiger

A drug suspect has been killed in shootout with soldiers.

A drug suspect has been shot dead during a shootout with soldiers in Chiang Rai province. An estimated 15 million methamphetamine pills were found in the back of the man’s pickup.

Soldiers came under fire late on Thursday night from the pickup truck in an apparent bid by the driver to flee from a checkpoint.

Soldiers returned fire and chased the vehicle. The shooting continued as the suspect vehicle drove from Wiang Chai district to Muang district where the pickup finally lost control and crashed into the roadside.

When soldiers checked the vehicle, they found the body of the drug suspect, identified only as Anat, a 30 year old Chiang Rai resident.

Next to his body was a gun and in the bed of his pickup were at least 30 sacks of methamphetamine. Authorities estimated the haul at 15 million methamphetamine tablets.Authorities believe the suspect was affiliated with the gang that lost another member on Tuesday in an extrajudicial killing where 6.1 million methamphetamine pills were seized in Chiang Rai’s Doi Luang district.

Second major shootout and drug haul in Chiang Rai this week | News by The Thaiger


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December 13, 2018, 6:54 am
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