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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2005 Secretary Rice's Remarks > July 2005: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Tsunami Reconstruction Program at Bang Sak School

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Remarks With Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai
Takuapa, Thailand
July 11, 2005

Secretary Rice speaks into microphone as Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai looks on. Takuapa, Thailand, July 11, 2005. U.S. Embassy photo.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you very much. We were just having a discussion about the need to bring teachers -- to train teachers. And I'm going to go back and look into that because I know there are a lot of people who would like to teach these wonderful children. And I'm very glad that together with the Thai Government and with the United States and with the wonderful people of this area, that we have been able to help to rebuild this school. I look forward to coming back to the completed school. I look forward to helping to see if we can get training for the teachers. I think that's a very good idea and I'll talk to the (inaudible) on our way back about how we might be able to do that. So thank you for bringing that up. And these are absolutely beautiful children and I'm sure they're very smart, too. And I'm sure that they work very hard in school. The tsunami and the devastation that it caused touched the hearts of so many people around the world. And I know that we have here students from the United States who are helping and who perhaps had never thought that they might be in Thailand, but find themselves here out of their hearts. And I want to thank you for what you're doing here because the true expression of friendship between people is that you are there for your friends in time of need.

Thailand and the United States have long been very, very good friends and I'm only happy that we could build on our platform of our friendship to be here in the time of need. And you can be sure that we will continue the efforts to rebuild after the tsunami and I look forward to coming back and I also look forward to seeing some of these wonderful children in universities one day because of the great work that is being done here. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER SATHIRATHAI: We thought we'd -- I would like to explain to students what Secretary Rice has said. (Speaking in Thai) And I say some words to the press as well. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone here to express our appreciation to Secretary Rice. Your presence means a lot. The United States is one of the first country, I would say to press, that helped us. They sent planes for the search and rescue, providing all the help. And Secretary Rice, your presence here, your words of encouragement, your expression of concern is a real moral boost for the people in this area, for the pupils, because these (inaudible) many of them are orphans, so this encouragement is something that is a moral boost for those who are in the process of rebuilding their lives. I would like to say also to the members of the press that the continued outpouring of hearts, outpouring of compassion from the American people represented by Secretary Rice is a testimony of the saying that "A friend in need is a friend indeed." Thank you very much, indeed. And we'll be working together closely.

(Speaking in Thai)


MODERATOR: Let the students sing a song.
Secretary Rice hugs a Thai school girl after she led a group singing for her at Bang Sak school which was devastated by the last December's tsunami and was rebuilt as part of the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Pang-nga province, southern Thailand.

SECRETARY RICE: Great. Thank you.

STUDENTS: (Singing ABC Song)


SECRETARY RICE: Can we sing it again?


SECRETARY RICE: And I'll sing, too.

STUDENTS: Yeah, sure.

SECRETARY RICE: (Sings ABC's with children) (Applause.) Great job. (Inaudible) beautiful. You have a beautiful voice, so does everyone. That was really good. Thank you. Thank you.

(Audio break)

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER SATHIRATHAI: Thank you Dr. (inaudible). I would like, again, to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation (inaudible) Secretary Rice, Secretary of the Unites States, to (inaudible) to deliver this message to our American friends. We believe the outpouring of compassion will raise self-encouragement (inaudible) that boost the morale of the people who have been hit by the tsunami (inaudible) carry that very (inaudible) message. (inaudible) were never (inaudible) boost the morale of small kids, orphans, military, who have lost lives of their relatives. And now they are working towards rebuilding their lives.

The help of the U.S. Government, of the American people, of (inaudible) government organizations (inaudible) touched us deeply. I can say to Secretary Rice you have won the hearts of the Thai people and you have won the hearts of the Asian. Thank you, again, for your visit, please.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. First of all, this has been a very inspiring visit. We, of course, honored the memories of those who have lost lives, and we are here celebrating the enormous spirit of the survivors. I want to thank (inaudible) and General thank you very much and (inaudible) studied in the United States (inaudible). It is a remarkable mobilization of the Army for humanitarian purposes. They're very (inaudible) with that.

I want to thank also the American volunteers who are here. I know that Americans went into their churches and their mosques and their synagogues to express their desire to help, and obviously some Americans came here. And how we celebrate the work that the United States Government has done to help here. It is really the heart of America through individual philanthropy, that's how we really show our heart. And the hundreds of thousands of Americas -- really the millions of Americans, who either gave of their resources or came here to work, that's what America is all about. And that's why Thailand and America share such great values.

And, again, to the kids and their teachers, I look forward to seeing you in University. I know that there's an dormitory that's being built here to honor the King's grandson, and that just shows that there really is no family in Thailand that was not touched by this terrible tragedy. I know that the grandson of the King was lost.

And so to all of you in Thailand, thank you for your friendship, but thank you especially for showing the (inaudible) over time. Thank you. (Applause.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible)

SECRETARY RICE: I'm here in Thailand to show how much the United States cares about Southeast Asia, how much we care about (inaudible). Thailand is our ASEAN dialogue partner. We have been talking about what will happen in Laos. We've been planning for that and I can assure that our commitment to the organization is very, very strong.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Madame, thank you.


Released on July 11, 2005

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