Enote 30 – ResettlementOctober 10, 2006
The Thai Coup
I am sure most of you have heard of the coup d'etat that took place in Thailand last month. Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra was deposed by the military while he was in the United States to attend a meeting of the UN. Some of you may be concerned about the coup's effect on our own operations there. In a word, not much, I believe. Little or no violence was involved, and it was essentially over before it was announced. It seemed to have the support of the King. And now an interim prime minister Surayud Chulanont, has been appointed and the country seems to be settling down. In fact it may be better for our refugee friends, because Surayud, a former Chief of the Army, has been more kind to the refugees than Taksin.
Some years ago I was told that the defining characteristic of the Thai people was their loyalty to their King. He is well-loved by all the Thai people. I would therefore assume that for any coup to be successful without extreme violence, it would have to have at least the acquiescence if not direct support of the King.
A more serious issue for us at least, is resettlement of our refugee friends in a foreign country. In recent years, the United States, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada, and a few countries in Europe have been accepting refugees in greater numbers for resettlement. Just this last week we received two emails from our students, that were leaving Thailand. Juliet, on the left graduated from Rajabaht last year, and was just starting to begin work when her family got an invitation to emigrate to Sweden. Sudarat, on the left, was a senior at Mission College studying Psychology and Education. One more year and she would have returned to become a teacher along the border. Instead she will join her family as they leave for Holland.
Both of these are very smart and, I believe, committed young women, who could well have been a great help and encouragement to their people. Both of them feel very ambivalent about their decisions to leave. We can only wish them success and happiness in their new life in Europe, and that they remember their people, and try to help them when they can.
Tax Law Change:
Just wanted all of you who are over 70 ½ years old, to know now is a very good time to give to the endowment of the Brackett Foundation. The new tax law allows you to make a lifetime transfer of funds directly from your IRA to charities (like us) without paying federal income tax, and the gift can be applied in satisfaction of the required distribution for that year. Furthermore, since we have an anonymous donor who has agreed to match any gifts to the endowment, up to $100,000, the value of your gift will be doubled.
How Can I Help?
This month we are mailing out our annual request for contributions. If you are on our mailing list, and you have not received our mailing by now, please tell us. If you are not on our mailing list, please consider making a donation to our work through JustGive, please see below.
We are interested in taking more visitors to see our work in Thailand and particularly in India. Consider volunteering for a couple of weeks.
We would enjoy coming to your community and giving a talk about our work. Consider setting up a forum or place where we can speak about the refugees and our work.
- Sept. 1-3: Our 50th Wedding Anniversary. (Not exactly Foundation business, but it was a very big deal.)
- Sept. 20: Radio Interview about the Foundation, Meet with Hoppy to setup talk.
- Sept. 25: Talk to United Nations Assoc. Utica, NY.
- Sept. 27: Working on mailing campaign.
- Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Visit and talk to Little Portion Friary Mt. Sinai, NY.
- Oct. 2: Final Recap of Succession meeting with Ron & Sue Myers, and mailing of our annual campaign letters.
Best regards to all of you, and please do think about ways you can continue to help us and our refugee friends.
Tom & Liz Brackett