Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fellow envoy recalls fun times with Ambassador Virachai

Mar 17. 2019
Late Ambassador Virachai Plasai (left) and Ambassador Panyarak//Photo : Panyarak's Facebook
Late Ambassador Virachai Plasai (left) and Ambassador Panyarak//Photo : Panyarak's Facebook
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By Marisa Chimprabha
The Nation

4,160 Viewed

Panyarak Poolthup, Thailand’s ambassador to Cambodia, has characterised the passing in Washington on Saturday of his colleague Virachai Plasai as a reminder that nothing is permanent and life is short.

Ambassador Virachai’s death reminds us all “that we should take good care of our health and live our lives with mindfulness”, Panyarak wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Virachai, a veteran diplomat named ambassador to the US last June, had been dealing with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland just outside Washington early this month. He was 58.

Panyarak said he and Virachai both joined the Foreign Ministry in 1987 and attended the same orientation session and training courses.

“Although he was a scholarship student, we always counted him among the class of ‘Buakaew 30’,” Panyarak wrote.

They shared a passion for music, swapped heavy-metal CDs and shopped for electric guitars together in Japan.

“But most ambitious of all was our shared dream of organising a retro-style disco party at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Panyarak recalled. “That remained a topic of discussion for us throughout the time we knew each other.”

They conceived possible song lists and envisioned light installations, audio equipment and even the kinds of cheesy, disco-era clothing that attendees would have to wear.

The planning was in earnest but always ended in laughter as they realised their superiors at the ministry would never condone a noisy party teeming with bellbottom trousers, platform shoes and afro wigs.

“RIP, my dear friend,” Panyarak wrote. “You will be truly missed, but never forgotten.”

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