Report from Thailand
NBTC and RAST host International Alliance Volunteers Conference
Thailand's first major conference about emergency communications for amateur radio took place on November 16, 2019 at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) Secretariat in Bangkok with representatives of 16 countries and Thailand participating. Called the International Alliance Volunteers 2019 Conference, the objective was to promote the development of volunteering for amateur radio communications during crises and disaster events and to enhance the partnership between amateur radio operators for long term cooperation and international goodwill.
NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith participated in the opening ceremony of the International Alliance Volunteers Conference
Participants also paid obeisance to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X, to commemorate his recent coronation. King Rama X is the patron of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand and has the callsign HS10A. RAST jointly hosted the conference with the NBTC that was attended by over 250 delegates. Representing the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was the Region 3 Chairman, Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ, along with a Region 3 Director, Don Wallace, ZL2TLL, who both made presentations about the role of amateur radio volunteers in disaster and crises in foreign countries.
Delegates prepare to pay obeisance to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn in front of the royal portrait at the NBTC Secretariat.
NBTC, Ambassadors and committee
IARU Region 3 Director, Wisnu YB0AZ
There were also many other presentations by representatives of national amateur radio societies. Also making a presentation during the conference was the IARU Region 3 Director, Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, who also represented the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL). Other presentations were made by representatives of several national amateur radio societies including the Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club e.V. (DARC), the Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia (ORARI), the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA), Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS) and the Radioamateurs du Luxembourg (RL).
W9WNV, OH2BE, OH2BH, DJ9ZB
The countries that were invited to participate in this conference were those with a bilateral reciprocal agreement with Thailand, along with Finland where an agreement is almost finalized. There were also representatives from countries in Asia including Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines that had been invited to participate.
Representatives from countries with a bilateral reciprocal agreement with Thailand
The RAST presentation was about lessons learned from the Tham Luang cave incident in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, when a junior football team of 12 boys aged between 11 and 16 were trapped, along with their coach, for over two weeks in a vast cave complex following flooding in late June and early July of 2018. Speakers who recounted the incident on behalf of RAST at the conference were Larry Riser Jr., HS0ZKZ, Dr Pakorn Watanachaturaporn, HS1EFA and Pornchai Semjang, HS2JFW who is also a former president of the society.
Presentation by RAST
There was also an emergency medical project explained by a senior adviser to the KDDI Foundation, Mr Yosuke Uchiyama, JH1NBN and Dr Pairoj Boonsirikamchai, a deputy secretary general of NIEM, the National Institute for Emergency Medicine.
The event enhanced the partnership between the countries involved whose representatives had participated in the event and the conference helped to promote awareness of the significance in the role that amateur radio operators can play when an emergency such as when extreme weather, an earthquake or a tsunami occurs.
OH2BH presented Finland flag to Dr. Jakkree Hantongkom, HS1FVL (President of RAST)