Symbolic Launch of Tsunami-Damaged Fishing Boats Scheduled for January 26th

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One month after the tsunami on 26 January 2005 new fishing boats will be launched to symbolize the renewal and continuation of the centuries old traditional fishing tradition in Thailand.

One month after the tsunami on 26 January 2005 new fishing boats will be launched to symbolize the renewal and continuation of the centuries old traditional fishing tradition in Thailand. The symbolic event on the small island of Ko Lanta will remember the damage that took the lives of local fishermen and destroyed or damaged almost 500 traditional fishing boats in the area, but also symbolizes the rebirth and continuity of traditional fishing here, and the goodness of the international community who have financed new boats.

On January 26th at high tide (11:00 AM) in Lanta Old Town, Khun Paitoon Rodrak and Khun Sanaan Vongprsert will launch their “new” fishing boats -- symbolizing the communities efforts and desires to resume a fishing lifestyle that’s over 500 years old. Both fishermen will pay respect to the spirit of their vessels with the traditional wrapping of cotton-tree colors (Mae Yaa Nang) before heading out to sea for the first time in a month.

Khun Rodrak and Khun Sanaan are the first recipients of THE KO LANTA FISHERMEN’S FUND (http://www.kolanta.net), a grassroots, non-government, non-NGO fund which is quickly dispersing 100% of the donations in the form of fishing boats, motors and drive trains.

“Fishermen are proud people” says Opp Warangkanaa, one of the fund’s administrator, “they don’t want to take hand outs. What they want is their boat back in the water quickly so they can make their own living. We’ve hired a boat builder who’s promised us a boat a week and we’re not stopping until everyone’s back at sea in Lanta.”

The fund has raised approximately 450,000 Baht to date from foreigners who love Lanta and want to help at a ground level.

“These people understand that Ko Lanta’s heritage comes from fishing and they don’t want that charm to go away,” stresses Khun Opp. “Our donators are happy to see their money at work so quickly and want to come and give the people a hug when they come back next year.”

MEDIA INVITE

WHAT: Launch of the Tsunami-Damaged Fishing Boats on the One Month-After Anniversary

WHERE: Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta, Krabi, THAILAND

WHEN: Wednesday, January 26th, 2005: 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM

6:00 AM Speed boat leaves Phuket: Boat Lagoon at Lighthouse

7:30 AM Boat arrives at Long Tail building yard in Lam Hin, Krabi

8:00 AM Tour of Long Tail building yard

9:00 AM Depart for Old Town, Ko Lanta

10:30 AM Arrive Old Town, Ko Lanta

11:00 AM Symbolic launch of two “new” Long Tail boats

12:00 AM Lunch

2:00 AM Return to Phuket

DETAILS:            

Khun Paitoon Rodrak and Khun Sanaan Vongprsert will launch their “new” fishing boats symbolizing the community’s efforts and desires to resume a fishing lifestyle that’s over 500 years old.

Both fishermen will pay respect to the spirit of their vessels with the traditional wrapping of cotton-tree colors (Mae Yaa Nang) before heading out to sea for the first time in a month.

Khun Rodrak and Khun Sanaan are the first recipients of THE KO LANTA FISHERMEN’S FUND (http://www.kolanta.net), a grassroots, non-government, non-NGO fund which is quickly dispersing 100% of the donations in the form of fishing boats, motors and drive trains.

RSVP:                                    

Mr. Duane Lennie

Mobile: +66 (0) 6 881-2121

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