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Thailand launches international competition for building memorial to commemorate tsunami disaster

The Government of Thailand will soon build a memorial to commemorate the devastating December 2004 Tsunami that claimed thousands of lives…

The Government of Thailand will soon build a memorial to commemorate the devastating December 2004 Tsunami that claimed thousands of lives across South and Southeast Asia.

Today, at a launch event, press conference and exhibition, held at the United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand, the Thai Government announced the Tsunami Memorial Design Competition, open to all architects and designers, artists and laypersons to design and submit concepts for a memorial that will be built to commemorate the victims, both Thai and foreign, of the devastating December 26 Tsunami that struck the six southern provinces of Thailand along the Andaman coast along with their islands.

Presiding over the auspicious event was Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop.

Some 5,395 Thai and foreign nationals lost their lives, 8,457 people were injured and 2,817 are still missing, while the total amount of damage due to the December 26 Tsunami to the economy, society, geological settings, ecological systems and coastline landscape is still difficult to assess.

The Government of Thailand has launched the Tsunami Memorial International Design Competition with the goal of gathering and developing ideas and concepts with the objective of building an appropriate and interactive Memorial.

The Thai Government has selected a site in Khao Lak – Lamru National Park in Phangnga, the hardest hit province in Thailand, to build the Tsunami Memorial as a permanent tribute to those who lost their lives.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop, the Thai Government felt it was important to establish some form of cooperative effort between Thais and foreigners to remember the tremendous losses attributed to the Tsunami.

At the same time, the proposed memorial is to honor all those across the globe who provided assistance and relief to Tsunami-affected persons immediately after the Tsunami hit and in the hours, days and weeks that followed, announced Deputy Prime Minister Suwat.

Thus the Tsunami Memorial Project should not just be a memorial to the dead, and to the horror of December`s natural disaster, but also a monument to the living, to the friendship and humanity that was demonstrated by all. It is hoped that the project once completed will be a place where people from all over the world would like to visit and pay tribute, the Deputy Prime Minister added.

To carry out the international competition, the Sub-Committee for Tsunami Memorial Project, headed by its chairman, Dr. Plodprasob Suraswadi, has set up a working committee to act as competition organizer. The Competition Organizing Committee chaired by Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Director-General of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, has appointed the Council of Architects Thailand as the Competition Advisor to manage the international competition as well as oversee the competition procedure.

The Tsunami Memorial will be created through a two-stage international competition. Stage I is open to all. A jury of prominent design professionals from Thailand and other countries will select five finalists, who will then be invited to further develop their concepts together with an architect who has a license to practice in Thailand in Stage I of the competition. A second jury will then review these designs and recommend a final design for submittal to the Government of Thailand in May 2006.

The concepts from the five finalists will be displayed at an exhibition planned during the foundation stone laying ceremony at Khao Lak – Lamru National Park in Phangnga. H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra will preside over the event on 26 December 2005.

The five individuals or teams participating in Stage II of the Tsunami Memorial Design Competition become eligible to receive a US$ 25,000 Honorarium. The Honorarium will be paid upon submission of a refined concept for Stage II. The owner of the selected final design will sign a contract with the Thai Government and then be asked to work cooperatively together with architects registered in Thailand in the development of the final design for construction.

Dr. Plodprasob Suraswadi, Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the Tsunami Memorial Project, stated, On behalf of the Thai Government, we would like to invite architects, designers, artists and laypersons from around the world, to enter this competition, which commemorates those who lost their lives, not only Thais, but all citizens. This competition is a great opportunity for all nations to participate in the spirit of kindness and to help and support the countries most affected by the disaster.

The Government of Thailand invites individuals or teams to participate in the competition.

The web-site ( provides all pertinent information, including the official competition manual and other data relevant to the competition.

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