HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

“Symposium - GTS 02”

Amazing Loy Krathong Festival Pattaya 2002

The Real miracle of Loy Krathong

Sawang Boriboon Foundation officially opens their School of Knowledge

The Best of Kamala

Skål Club of Pattaya & East Thailand celebrate winning bid for World Congress 2006

Mahidol University holds 4th HUGO Pacific and 5th Asia-Pacific conference on human genetics

Internet Banking in Thailand research report nets “Excellence” award for Asian University Student and Program Leader

“Symposium - GTS 02”

A showcase for German technology

by Elfi Seitz
Photos by Tony Malhotra

The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok was the venue for the 7th German Technology Symposium and Exhibition (GTS) from the 12th through the 16th of November.

HM the princess was especially interested in this futuristic BMW motorcycle.

In this huge hall more than 150 German companies and organizations participated in the show. They came to display their advanced products and up-to-date technology options, demonstrated by German experts.

German technicians, financers, trainers and developers came to Bangkok to offer German technology and products as well as solutions for sustainable industrial development in Thailand.

At the same time more than 70 symposium presentations from more than 50 companies took place. This was once again an ideal forum for business-oriented engineers, scientists and technologists, lecturers and instructors, economists and business executives to obtain technical information for their decision-making process.

The symposium was honored by the visit of Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who was, amongst many other high personalities, accompanied by the German Ambassador Andreas von Stechow and the executive director of the Thai-German Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Paul Strunk. Her Royal Highness showed great interest in the exhibition and the products.

This year the exhibition set new records concerning the number of the exhibitors and the attendance of visitors.

Amazing Loy Krathong Festival Pattaya 2002

Songklod Kaewvisit

This year’s Pattaya Loy Krathong festival started on November 17th and local product booths, food stalls and various talent performances by school children lined Pattaya Beach Road from opposite Soi 4 to down to Central Pattaya Road.

Governor Sawang Srisakul, Savitri Srisakul, Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat and Satil Khunpluem take turns to strike the gong to officially get the festivities underway.

Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat loys his krathong into the sea.

A dapper young lad and his Miss Noppamas friend ready to loy their krathongs.

Four main events of this year’s Loy Krathong festival included a Nang Noppamas contest, painting competition, Thai traditional musical contest, and Krathong creation. Various artists, including Da Jim, an underground Hip Hop singer, performed on stage to entertain the festival attendants in the evening.

On November 19th Chonburi Governor Sawang Srisakul arrived at the main stage opposite Soi 4 at around 8 p.m. to officially open the festival and present prizes and trophies to the winners of the four main competitions.

Wannapa Wannasri, from the education department at Pattaya city hall, and Peter Malhotra, managing director of Pattaya Mail guided the audience throughout the night and announced names of contests winners.

Pattaya city hall stressed that this year’s krathongs should be made only from natural materials and be biodegradable in order to protect the environment.

The winner of the krathong creation contest at the secondary school level was Pattaya School No. 8, who then received 5,000 baht and a trophy from Governor Sawang. Pattaya School No. 3 students won the trophy and 5,000 baht at the primary level.

Governor Sawang (left) shows he can dance the Loy Krathong dance with a beautiful young maiden.

Maybe someday she will be crowned “Most Beautiful Miss Noppamas”.

In the “spirit of Northern Thailand”, Loy krathong enthusiasts at the Marriott let off a large “khom loy”, or paper balloon. Throughout the night, these and those similar could be seen floating through the sky, creating a surrealistic universe.

Suphalak from Aksorn Thepprasit won the painting contest under the theme of ‘Nature Preservation’. Suphalak received a cash prize of 5,000 baht and the Sonthaya Khunpluem, minister of tourism and sports trophy.

Phasitthi Thaipongsak, the lovely girl from Sathit Phiboolbampen won the Thai Traditional musical instrument competition and took home a trophy and a cash prize.

Of course the highlight of the event was the Nang Noppamas beauty pageant. This year the position of Loy Krathong’s most beautiful woman went to Sawittree Sridee, sponsored by Sophon Cable TV, Pattaya. Miss Sawittree did not reveal how she would spend her 10,000 baht cash prize.

A beautiful, big krathong floats on the Marriott pool.

The Marriott’s beautiful Miss Noppamas readies to present her krathong to the Goddess of the Water.

(L to R) “Ju” and “Peter”, now familiar to everyone who attends major Pattaya City functions, once again announced the proceedings in Thai (Ju) and English (Peter).

Amari GM Dominik Stamm (right) presides over the Miss Noppamas contest at the Amari Orchid Resort.

Beautiful Thai dancing featured at the Amari Orchid Resort celebration of the Loy Krathong holiday.

At the end of the awards presentation, Governor Sawang expressed how pleased he was to see all the young people perform such fine talents on stage. He said he was proud of Pattaya City, which is well known for being a hub of international culture and tradition.

The governor said he hoped to see Pattaya organize similar events more often to promote Thai culture and tradition for foreigners visiting the country. He said that he felt comfortable working with Pattaya City’s administration members and wished Pattaya great success in all the upcoming events which have been planned.

Bars, pubs, restaurants, krathong selling booths and other businesses made a huge fortune out of the day. Firecrackers were banned to ensure the safety of visitors, which had made the night a peaceful and quiet one this year.

The lovely staff at Cafe New Orleans, led by restaurant manager Clarisse Brundo (center) treated customers to a the beautiful sight of their wearing traditional costumes on Loy Krathong.

Underground Hip Hop singer, Da Jim performed on stage to entertain the festival crowds.

This year the position of Loy Krathong’s most beautiful woman went to Sawittree Sridee, sponsored by Sophon Cable TV, Pattaya. Miss Sawittree did not reveal how she would spend her 10,000 baht cash prize.

Lovely maidens dance during the music contest on the beach.

Local contestants play their best, trying to win this year’s music contest on the beach.

Dusit Resort’s employees perform Traditional Thai dance.

This year’s Dusit Resort Pattaya Loy Krathong festivities on November 19 took place at The Point. 250 guests were able to admire and listen to traditional Thai dance performance by Dusit Resort’s very own employees and live Thai music. Seen together with the Traditional Thai dance performers are Dusit Resort general manager, Chatchawal Supachayanont and resident manager and emcee of the evening, Ingo G. Raeuber.

The magnificent background of Pattaya Beach, with thousands and thousands of floated Krathongs, hundreds of airlifted Kom Loys and fireworks above the Bay made this evening an unforgettable event for all attending the Dusit Resort celebration. Shown here at the festivities the evening are Mr Rolf and Mrs. Anni Prinz, Ms. Renate Kreckel, long staying guests and Khun Suree Pachana, director of rooms.

At the Dusit Resort, a Krathong was given to guests and all took the opportunity to let these float on the hotel’s Lagoon Pool, wishing for forgiveness of their sins, blessing the water god and hoping for good luck and fortune in the coming year.

The Real miracle of Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is over, held during the November full moon period, which this year was on the 19th. It is probably one of the most romantic events on the Thai calendar, and one celebration about which that even many Thais do not realize the full meaning.

It is an event steeped in history, going back some 700 years. It was considered to be of such importance that the revered King Mongkut even wrote down the history in 1863, to ensure that its significance was not lost with the passage of time.

The small boats (krathongs) were first fashioned by the beautiful and talented Nang Noppamas, the Brahmin wife of King Phra Ruang. It was this king who then dedicated the krathong to the memory of the Buddha, and decreed that the event would be called Loy Krathong and that it should become an annual celebration to commemorate the skill and beauty of his consort.

While the young ladies of Pattaya dressed up in traditional Thai dresses, complete with the headgear and jewelry, and the hotels held Nang Noppamas contests, the real spirit of Loy Krathong was to be found on Jomtien Beach, where lovers sat side by side in deck chairs and then floated their krathongs out to sea, sealing together their hopes and ambitions. It was there that so many of the hot air lantern balloons were floating overhead that for those in the deck chairs there was a new galaxy of stars passing overhead. It was for them, a celebration of love and all things beautiful.

When the beach goers finally drifted home, the coastline was a flotilla of krathongs, but it was after this that the real miracle of Loy Krathong happened. Anyone who drove down Jomtien Beach Road on the next morning could not help but be impressed that the seething mass from the night before had apparently disappeared without a trace. The beaches were clean, there were no shipwrecked krathongs or downed airships to be seen. From the magic of the night, there came the magic of the morning. Yes, Loy Krathong is alive and well, and can be seen next year in Jomtien. Nang Noppamas has not been forgotten.

Sawang Boriboon Foundation officially opens their School of Knowledge

Focus on language and computer skills

Suchada Tupchai

Chadej Insawang, permanent secretary of the tourism and sports ministry along with Yian Ting Aiy, Chinese ambassador to Thailand; Sawang Srisakul, Chonburi governor, Somchai Khunpluem, Saensuk mayor, and many other distinguished guests from Pattaya city hall, attended the recent opening of new Sawang Boriboon School of Knowledge.

(L to R) Saensuk Mayor Somchai Khunpluem, Sawang Boriboon Foundation Director Visit Chawalitnittitham, Ministry of Tourism and Sports Permanent Secretary Chadej Insawang, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Yian Ting Aiy, and Chonburi Governor Sawang Srisakul push the ceremonial button to officially open the new school.

Visit Chawalitnittitham, director of the Sawang Boriboon Foundation said the school project financing was well supported by kind-hearted donators and members of the Foundation Charity Board through the years.

The school is situated on 30 rai of land and almost 100 million baht was spent on the construction and facilities.

The board believes that the school will be a place to educate and develop both mental and physical health for the children. The new facility includes a sports complex, music room and art gallery.

The school’s academic courses include Chinese language lessons taught by professors from China, night classes for adults, and computer lessons. The daytime school is open to children from the nursery, secondary and primary levels.

Chadej Insawang said he was glad to be part of this social development knowing that Thailand and China have a strong relationship in terms of education, business, culture, tourism, and international trade.

The Chinese ambassador presented 2 computer sets and Chinese learning books to the school director. All guests were invited to tour the school and view its fully equipped facilities.

The Best of Kamala

Story and photos by
Elfi Seitz

Kamala Sukosol, a member of Bangkok’s high society, owner of a few hotels, art-collector and a fantastic singer gave a stunning performance at her recent charity concert, held at the Siam City Hotel in Bangkok.

Kamala Sukosol in her typical “Dolly” pose.

The Sukosol children are performing as a unity on stage.

Together with her children, Marisa, Daranee and “Noi” Krissada, her renowned team including Dolchai Boonyaratavey, Felix B. Nada, Atchanon Naksrisuk, Tanee Poonsuwan, Worabith Witayobhart, Thepin Rahjaibun, Klaichan Phunman, Punthip Punjamawat, Pattamanas Intarayai and Temduen Kesakomol, and her Big Band under the leadership of Prachin Sonpaw and dancers from the Dramatic Arts College, Kamala put on a stage show worthy of Broadway.

Kamala Sukosol (center) takes time for her youngest fan to pose for a picture together with Xiomara J. Ramos de Arrochaim (2nd right), the ambassador for Panama in Thailand, Elfi Seitz (right) and Rungratree Thongsaiy (far left).

With her songs starting with “Hava Nagila” (first recording in 1983) through “Gyspy in my Soul”, “Mambo Italiano”, a new version of “Besame Mucho”, “Something Stupid”, “With My Eyes Wide Open” to “New York, New York”, the program spanned 20 years of Kamala’s recordings.

A special treat was the show part of “Hello Dolly” with Kamala Sukosol once again the best ‘Dolly’ one could wish for.

With the help of many sponsors, Kamala Sukosol and her team were able to set up a fantastic cultural event and raised a lot of money for charity at the same time. All the proceeds will be given to the Red Cross Thailand for the treatment of victims of breast cancer and research for this terrible disease.

Skål Club of Pattaya & East Thailand celebrate winning bid for World Congress 2006

Call to action given to club members

Following Pattaya’s winning the right to stage the world congress of Skål clubs in 2006, the local Skål Club of Pattaya and the East toasted their victorious team at the monthly Skål meeting, this time held at the Auguste Renoir Restaurant.

Murray makes a toast to victory, as Ingo Rauber looks on.

The vote, which was held at this year’s congress in Cairns, Australia, went to Pattaya as the venue over London by a large majority. Promotional team members Murray Hertz, Andrew Wood, Peter Malhotra and Bob Lee described the final vote as most satisfactory following four days of intensive campaigning for Pattaya.

During the meeting, which included all the top hospitality people, mention was made of warnings given to holidaymakers by their governments to be cautious if contemplating travel to Thailand. It was agreed that this was unfair, but that it was something that had to be dealt with.

Skål members discuss strategy for the upcoming Skๅl world congress to be held in Pattaya in 2006.

The Skål Club meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month and contact can be made through the secretary, Andrew Wood, email andrew @royalcliff.com

Mahidol University holds 4th HUGO Pacific and 5th Asia-Pacific conference on human genetics

Gathering of brains from around the world to discuss experiments on human genetics

Mahidol University along with the Public Health Department and the private sector organized the 4th HUGO Pacific Meeting and 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Human Genetics, recently held at the Ambassador City Hotel Pattaya.

Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng (3rd right), Prof. Dr. Pornchai Matangkasombut (2nd right), president of Mahidol University, and Professor Dr. Kanok Pavasuthipaisit (3rd left) presided over the opening ceremony of the “4th HUGO Pacific Meeting and 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Human Genetics” organized by the Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University and the Public Health Department, Human Genome Organization and Asia-Pacific Society of Human Genetics. Also shown are Professor Sutat Foocharoen (2nd left), the Honorable Professor Pravet Wasee (right), and Sir David Weatherall (center), the Chao Fah Mahidol Prize winner.

The gathering of scientists was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng and the meeting was well attended by foreign and Thai scientists. Chaturon pointed out that the study of genetic mapping is rapidly advancing and agrees that the Thai government should support its study.

Mahidol University held this meeting to improve country’s standards of scientific research in this field.

In the near future another meeting on the same topic will be organized with more people involved, such as NECTEC, Science Ministry, University Affairs and the Public Health Department along with academics who are interested in the topic in order to assess results and propose that the government provide more support for research about the human genome, which will definitely benefit the life and health of the people.

In the past not much support has been given toward research of the topic for it did not give an instant result. But with the present government the motive will be to improve and give a faster result, for not much time should be wasted and not too much money should be spent paying for the technology from foreign countries, as Thailand has its own top scientists.

Professor William Nunn Lipscomb, a Nobel Prize winning scientist recently advised the prime minister on his recent trip to Thailand that for best results when conducting this kind of research it should be slow and steady and give more importance to basic research then to applied research.

Professor Dr. Kanok Pavasuthipaisit, director of the Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University and the president of the organizing committee, revealed after the meeting that this meeting was very successful and had a pleasant atmosphere. More than about 200 genome specialists and 800 new scientists attended the meeting which created a very energetic atmosphere and lots of ideas were exchanged.

Dr. Kanok added that this meeting had ignited the flame for those scientists who are as a majority new generations and the future for the country; for they have a chance to meet with world class scientists and receive knowledge about human genetics which will gradually improve the method of conducting research and will benefit the people by protecting against various diseases, especially in areas like malaria, thalasemia and various genetic disorders.

The results from the meeting brought together Thai scientists living abroad to exchange ideas and conduct research together at the institution level, as well as national level, with various interesting and beneficial research for the country.

Internet Banking in Thailand research report nets “Excellence” award for Asian University Student and Program Leader

The First National Conference on Electronic Business, “Enlightening: Successful Business Model” has granted its first “Award for Excellence in Research” to Dr. Metta Ongkasuwan and Ms. Worasri Tantichattanon of Asian University of Science and Technology, in the Pattaya area.

The award, granted by the organization, “Electronic Commerce Resource Center” in a conference held at Thammasat University in late October, was presented by Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee, the first minister of the Thailand Information Technology and Communications Ministry, one of the new ministries created by the government in October. The award was for excellence in statistics and assessment strategies, and was given for the paper, “A Comparative Study of Internet Banking in Thailand.”

Dr. Metta is an instructor at Asian University of Science and Technology, and Ms. Worasri is a recent graduate with a Masters Degree in Business Administration from that university. The paper on which the two collaborated had first been presented as Ms. Worasri’s independent study presentation under the university’s graduate school program, with Dr. Metta acting as her advisor, and had been revised by the two to meet the exacting standards of the Electronic Resource Center.

The study conducted by Ms. Worasri and Dr. Metta was to compare Internet-based banking services available in thirteen banks in Thailand, with the findings to be used to address four research questions and suggest recommendations for internet-based banking customers who are searching for Internet-based banking service providers for their electronic based activities and services in Thailand.

The paper is organized into five sections: 1. an introduction presenting research questions and rationale for the study; 2. an overview of literature relevant to internet-based banking services in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, Asia Pacific, and Thailand; 3 and 4. research model and methodology implemented in the study; and 5. data analysis, major findings, recommendations and limitations for internet based banking customers.

Two other awards for excellence followed the award to Dr. Metta and Ms. Worasri, being given in only two of the four categories in which submissions were made: “Statistics and Assessment”, and “Law and Regulation”. Excellence in research awards were given following the award to Dr. Metta and Ms. Worasri to a research team from Singapore, and another such award to a team from Thammasat University. Only three “Excellence” awards papers were given out of 55 papers submitted to the conference for consideration.

Ms. Worasri, following her M.B.A. graduation from Asian University of Science and Technology in September of this year, is now studying in Shanghai, China, and hopes eventually to be engaged in information systems management in a banking business in Shanghai or some other area in China. Dr. Metta continues as program leader of the Management Information Systems (M.I.S.) graduate program at Asian UST.

The Electronic Resource Center is comprised of the e-Business Center of the Faculty of Commerce and Accounting for Thammasat University, the e-business Center at NECTEC and the National Institute of Science and Technology Development in Bangkok. This was the first National Conference on e-Business, which is expected to be held annually in Thailand. It is expected to provide a central forum for experts and interested individual to promote strategies in the fields of e-business, e-commerce and its relevance. NCEB 2002 was the first annual conference organized by Thammasat University and the National Electronic Commerce Research and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), and is intended to benefit people who are actively involved in research and practices related to e-Business.

The purpose of the annual conference is to promote research in e-business and e-commerce for academic, business and practioners to address future directions of e-business to coordinate and create a network of researchers, business private sector and government sector in the business area, aimed at discovering research that is beneficial to Thailand.

Interviews of Dr. Metta and Ms. Worasri on their award will be broadcast on Bangkok television on Sunday, January 19, 2003, from 22:00 to 22:30 hours in a session on the 360 Degree TV program.

The Rotary Club
of Jomtien-Pattaya

Skal International