Swedish consul general in Phuket, Christina Palm, said the memorial in Takua Pa in southern Thailand was “fitting.” Takua Pa is not far from Khao Lak, where many of the Swedes lost their lives.
The large memorial garden is surrounded by a low, white wall. The park is the final resting place for the unidentified victims of the catastophe. On Boxing Day the garden was opened in a ceremony including speeches, a one-minute silence, music and wreath laying.
The garden contains statues illustrating the periods before, during and after the tsunami. Large palm trees give much-needed shade in the tropical heat. Flags of all the countries that helped identify the dead flutter in the breeze.
The park is open to the public, and ceremonies held for the Christian, Muslim and Buddhist victims buried there.
“This can be a place for those Swedes who haven’t got their loved ones home,” said Christina Palm.
Memorial ceremonies were planned in several parts of Thailand on Tuesday, including on Patong Beach, which is home to many Swedes. Many of those Swedes living and holidaying locally are expected to attend to honour the memory of those who died.
The memorial garden was created by the Thai police, who led the identification of the dead.
As well as the 542 Swedes who died in Thailand, one Swede died thousands of miles away in Sri Lanka as a result of the tsunami. Fifteen Swedes are still missing in Thailand, where a total of 414 victims remain unidentified.