Quick Thai response to earthquake praised by Nepalese

Quick Thai response to earthquake praised by Nepalese

Thailand has been praised by quake victims in Nepal, the country's government and international aid organisations, over its quick response and sustainable relief efforts during the recent disaster, the Nepal ambassador to Thailand and the chief of the Thai monastic mission in Nepal told a Bangkok seminar yesterday.

Gratitude from the victims and the Nepalese government has also been extended to Their Majesties the King and Queen for their donations and other assistance from members of the Royal family, said Khaga Nath Adhikari, at yesterday's event titled "For Friends in Nepal".

It was organised by the Thai Journalists Association.

The latest death toll update from Nepal has climbed to 8,636, and includes victims from 70 nationalities.

The number of injured has reached 16,808, said Adhikari.

He said the international media had done its job well in covering the quakes and other stories while quickly sending out information to the world. It resulted in quick assistance and delivery of supplies provided to Nepal.

First arrivals

The monastic chief, Phra Anilman Thammasakiyo, said Thai personnel represented the greatest number of first arrivals, either as media members, medical and military personnel, or even monastic representatives - contributing greatly to helping out with the disaster.

He cited a World Health Organisation statement as praising the Thai medical team.

By contrast, the Nepalese media has also raised the issue of corruption among its local politicians.

It reported the monk had told of corruption stories he had learned - such as a high-quality tent donated by China being taken over by politicians in areas where the quake damage was lighter.

Also, he alleged certain types of assistance were not forwarded to those most in need because of cultural restrictions.

He said the Nepalese government turned down offers of help from certain countries for fear of national security or long-standing rifts. He did not elaborate.

Members of the Thai media who attended the event told personal stories about their hardship in securing Internet bandwidth to contact their offices or to send out footage or stories, among other concerns.

The Thai media donated Bt172,090 (S$6,869) to Nepal through the Federation of Nepali Journalists.

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