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Thanks for helping us: Foreign cave rescuers all to be given Thai Elite cards

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Thanks for helping us: Foreign cave rescuers all to be given Thai Elite cards

 

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All of the foreign rescuers involved in the successful operation at the Tham Luang cave are to be given the prestigious Thailand Elite cards.

 

The cards - that can cost up to a million baht depending on their level - allow visa exempt travel to the kingdom for a period of five years.

 

In addition the rescuers will be allowed one free all expenses paid trip to Thailand of a week within the next five years. This includes free airfares on Thai Airways.

 

News of the thank you gift was reported by Kapook and other agencies after it was announced on Thai TV Channel 3. 

 

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For rescuers who have yet to leave Thailand they will additionally be treated to a tour of Chiang Rai and Bangkok before they go home. 

 

Many foreign teams helped the Thai authorities bring the 12 boys and coach of Mu Pa academy out of the cave after they spent over two weeks inside. 

 

The Elite Cards have been organised by the ministry of tourism and sports on behalf of a grateful Thai government. 

 

The story of the cave rescue was followed by people throughout the world as the world's media descended on the cave complex in Chiang Rai. 

 

Source: https://hilight.kapook.com/view/175088

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-7-12
 
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Thailand fetes foreign volunteers to thank for their help

By THE NATION

 

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THAILAND HAS honoured foreign volunteers, including two British cave divers, who took part in the dramatic and marathon rescue mission to free 13 Mu Pa Academy football club members from Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai.
 

For those who wished to stay on in Thailand after the mission, the Royal Household Bureau, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Tourism Authority of Thailand will host sightseeing trips in Chiang Rai and Bangkok.

 

For others who must return to their homelands, Thai authorities will sponsor a single trip back to Thailand within the next five years.

 

TAT will give them a “Thailand Elite Card” membership, so they could enjoy a series of associated privileges.

 

Foreign volunteers, reportedly numbering over 100 and hailing from countries near and far, have been streaming out of the area over the past few days since the rescue mission was officially completed with the team extracted from the cave and safely in hospital.

 

Many had been at the site for up to two weeks after the Mu Pa (Wild Boar) team went missing in the cave on June 23.

 

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At Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith joined Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat to see off two British cave diving experts, John Volanthen and Jason Mallison.

 

Volanthen is well know for his expertise in cave diving and eagerness to volunteer for rescues, while Mallison is a member of the Cave Diving Group, Britain’s oldest amateur association of subterranean divers.

 

Volanthen and Rick Stanton famously discovered the boys stranded on a mud-covered rock ledge at so-called Noen Nom Sao on July 2, 10 days after they went missing.

 

Arkhom and Weerasak gave a heroes’ send-off for Volanthen and Mallison. Both Britons travelled from Chiang Rai to Suvarnabhumi Airport and then boarded a flight to London. The Cabinet ministers gave them certificates of honour and expressed officials thanks from Thailand for their dedication that resulted in the rescue mission’s success. Both had played leading roles in planning and mapping the operation to secure freedom for the boys.

 

The ministers also presented them with drawings of themselves and John Harper, a fellow volunteer diver who had already left for London to make a doctor’s appointment. Harper oversaw the whole operation to help the boys.

 

Other foreign divers from a hand-ful of nations left Thailand for their home countries yesterday including Stanton, Christopher Jewell, John Clayton, Gary Mitchell, Connor Roe, Jim Warny and Joshua Bratchley.

 

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Meanwhile, eight volunteers from China’s Peaceland Foundation have decided to visit Bangkok before going home. Wang Ke, chief of the team, said they were happy that the mission was completed successfully and the boys were safe. During the operation, he said, they received excellent cooperation from the Thai authorities and wished to thank Thais who had thanked the team for their kindness.

 

In the future, if Thailand needs any help, his team is more than willing to come and help, said Wang.

 

Wang said that he wished for all the Mu Pa boys to work hard on their studies and have a happy life. His team wished to express condolences on the passing of Saman Kunun, a former Navy SEAL who died during the operation. “He is the hero of Thailand,” Wang said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30349969

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-07-13

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Well for sure they deserve them but there are also other Farang living in Thailand contributing and with families who equally deserve one imo instead of just being treated like long term tourists.

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No more than they deserve. I am quite happy that the authorities have seen fit do do this. While they all came on a voluntary basis, being made to know your services were appreciated is always nice. Well done Divers for brilliant work, Well done Thailand for showing the gratitude.

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I'm sure they would be happy with a simple thank you from the PM in person..

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Credit where credit is due - the Thai government has made a very appropriate gesture to a group of people who wholeheartedly deserve it.

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Surely this must be some kind of mistake. They were gonna be sent home so only Thais got the credit, no mention of them in the media bla bla bla 

 

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Really, is that all?  A tour of chiang rai and an elite card.  Wow thanks for paying your own way and next time you come back for a visit you can get a 5% discount with this card.

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I rescued my wife from being a somtam seller. Do I qualify? 

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7 minutes ago, Thechook said:

Really, is that all?  A tour of chiang rai and an elite card.  Wow thanks for paying your own way and next time you come back for a visit you can get a 5% discount with this card.

Do you have any evidence to show that their expenses have not been covered in full? If so, please post it with the link.

Thailand was not being forced to give them anything, as they came as volunteers. But they have. They have shown some gratitude, maybe you should be a little less quick off the mark to bash them.

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9 minutes ago, Thechook said:

Really, is that all?  A tour of chiang rai and an elite card.  Wow thanks for paying your own way and next time you come back for a visit you can get a 5% discount with this card.

They did not pay their own way.

 

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Whoop-di-do, so with a little bit of luck they now do not have to pay overstay on the current trip.

It is good to finally know the exact worth of 13 Thai lives: a week's holiday, and a rather useless elite-card for the duration of 5 years. For most working stiffs a visa-exempt stay in Thailand of 2-3 weeks a year is all they can swing anyway, apart from the fact that your loved ones still would need visa's on extended stays.

 

Then again, the farangs in question are getting away lightly. For all we know they could have been given the honor of being appointed honorary Thai.

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 Free golf cart rides at swampy and fast lane at immigration. Small perks but it's the thought that counts.

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Had the Government not made any gesture, I don't think the heroes would have had any problems about it.

Just the fact that they (some of whom probably have kids themselves), have given these youngsters the gift of more years of life, by using their skills to save them from near certain death, will stay in their minds and hearts forever.

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