A Fond Farewell to the Peacemaker

The Nation (Talk of the Town) - Friday, April 29, 2005

The occasion: Reception for ‘Bridges’ founder Uwe Morawetz

Austrian Ambassador Herbert Traxl on Monday opened his residence on Sathorn Road to welcome supporter of peace advocate Uwe Morawetz, chairman of the International Peace Foundation.

Around 150 guests from various professions gathering to congratulate and say goodbye to Morawetz, who has just completed his mission in Bangkok – presenting 250 events in the series “Bridges – Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace”. Morawetz told the guests that he first came to Thailand in 2001 to learn about a new culture and a new approach to peace.

”What I love most is bring people together, people from all walks of life, to work together for one cause: raising the awareness for and building a culture of peace,” he said. Four years later, it’s mission accomplished.

Privy Councillor General Surayud Chlanont, who chairs Bridges’ Thai advisory board, and honorary chairman Anand Panyarachun spoke of their appreciation for Morawetz’s efforts. Also on hand were Gothom Arya and Surichai Wan-kaew, members of the recently established National Reconciliation Commission, and Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, who bought Morawetz a peace batik created by Muslim children in the South.

Senator Tuenjai Deethet and Somkiat On-wimol also joined in congratulating Morawetz, as did Ian Williams and Jeanne Hallacy of the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand, Pana Janviroj, editor of The Nation, Wasan Phaileeklee of Manager and Kiatichai Pongpanich from Kao Sod.

”I hope, in the future, this network and peace initiative which started in Asia, here in Thailand, will reach out to other countries in the region and that Thailand will become a true centre for peace, dialogue and international understanding,” Morawetz said.

His office in Bangkok will be closed soon, but the show goes on – the peacemaker said his next destination is in Latin America

Subhatra Bhumiprabhas, reporter