November 29, 2006
The five American Ambassadors for Peace arrived in Bangkok on November 22, and on the 23rd three ministers went to three provinces. November 24 was the day for Thailand to hold the 120 Peace Tour centering on the five American AFP ministers with the support of our Thai AFPs. We assigned them to five different venues. The rest of the tour will be carried out by local representatives November 25-30, 2006.
Overall, the events were very successful, despite of the fact that they were being under the martial law imposed by the government that gained power by coup. But because of the support by Ambassadors for Peace who are former and current senators, governors and members of Parliament, everything took place without any problem. The American ministers did their best to represent the UPF Founders, the True Parents, and they really inspired the Thai Ambassadors for Peace and gave them great confidence.
Bangkok: Radisson Hotel (09:30-12:00)
The UPF Rally in Bangkok was held at the Radisson Hotel on November 24. Registration started at 9.30 am. Many participants came early, and the ballroom was almost full before the official event began. There were about 230 participants, more than half of them being Ambassadors for Peace and their friends and guests. We made special arrangements to set up two tables for Muslim participants, centering on several Ambassadors for Peace. Others were supporters and associates.
The event started smoothly with invocations by three religious leaders, a famous Buddhist monk, a priest and a Muslim leader.
Rev. Betty Tatalajski delivered the Founder’s speech. Her gentle spirit and charm captivated the crowd. The participants listened attentively and read the text in Thai, which were distributed to all the audience. Rev. Betty Tatalajski conducted the Blessing Ceremony after her speech, and most participants took part. The event ended with a delicious Thai lunch.
Prof. Pradit Charoenthaitawee, who is the President of the IIFWP Thailand and the Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand, gave opening remarks. He is a well-respected figure in Thailand and was one of His Majesty the King’s private doctors. It was followed by the presentation of certificates to 13 newly appointed Ambassadors for Peace. The first recipient was a well-known and respected academician, Prof. Sunee Sinthudecha, who is the president of Rattana Bundit University. Her presence added prestige to the Ambassadors for Peace and encouragement for the crowd.
Nakornpathom: Whael Hotel: Rev. Carlos Torres
Nakornpathom is only a two-hour drive from Bangkok. The rally was held at Whael Hotel in Nakornpathom. The majority of the participants came early and showed much interest in the event. There were about 203 participants, including students, teachers, media professionals and NGO leaders. Mr. Suntorn Keawwijit, Chairman of Cultural Forum of Nakornpathom, came to give the welcome address.
The response from the participants to Rev. Carlos Torres was very good. They were very attentive, and most of them found the topic very informative and interesting. The Thai Ambassadors for Peace in this area were very supportive; they helped invite guests and worked very hard side by side with the staff and took full responsibility for the event. Some officials expressed interest in having a UPF team assigned to work for peace in this area.
Chiangrai- Inncome Hotel
Rev. Gregory Odlin
Mr. Daet Chaikla, director of Sports Authority of Chiangrai, was the main person responsible for the mobilization, and he was very helpful despite of his hectic schedule.
There were about 150 participants, including religious groups, local government officials, NGOs, teachers and staff from Chiangmai and some staff from Bangkok. We started our program with invocation from 3 religious representatives: Buddhist, Christian and Islam.
The Deputy Governor of Chiangrai, Hon. Worachai Auttamachai, came 15 minutes late because of two earlier speaking engagements. He stayed and listened attentively until Rev. Odlin finished reading the Founder’s speech.
Rev. Odlin enjoyed talking to the Muslim participants after the program. Most of the representatives from the various religions said to Mr. Chaikla that was their first to attend such a meeting inviting the religious groups. Mr. Chaikla explained to them that in May he was coordinating the local Religious Youth Service project which included young Muslims from the three provinces in the Deep South of Thailand where there is serious problem of terrorism.
Khon Kaen: Charon Thani Princess Hotel
Rev. Dr. Gilda Price
The Khon Kaen rally had the largest number of participants, 296, which included religious representatives, students, teachers, families, media professionals, local government officials and NGO leaders.
Hon. Pridi Hiranpruek, former senator and Ambassador for Peace in Bangkok, accompanied Rev. Gilda Price to Khon Kaen.
The event was well received by almost all participants. The participants were very attentive and they were following the readings of Rev. Price but in Thai version.
Some participants expressed a desire to hold this kind of event in their own community. Rev. Price was also inspired to see quite a number of young people in the audience
Phetsanulok: Topland Hotel
Rev. Andre Jackson
Many participants came an hour before registration began. Representatives from three religions welcomed Rev. Andre Wayne Jackson and Dr. Porntep Pimonsathien. Rev. Jackson talked to them about True Parents’ life and peace mission. The event opened with a performance of traditional Thai music by students from Rajabhat Phiboonsongkam University, followed by a Thai Blessing Tradition Dance.
The representatives from Buddhism, Christianity and Islam offered blessing prayers and spoke words honoring the other religions. Then they lit candles of peace together.
Dr. Porntep Pimonsathien, Committee Member of IIFWP-Thailand, gave the opening address. He said he did not come as a former provincial governor but as an Ambassador for Peace. He talked about cooperating with the federation and attending seminar with Father Moon in Korea.
Because Rev. Jackson was reading in English, and the participants were read the Thai text, the interaction between the speaker and the audience was delayed. However, Rev. Jackson tried to passionately express True Father’s spirit to everybody. After the formal ceremony finished, Rev. Jackson and all the participants took photographs together. Many people congratulated Rev. Jackson and shook his hand.