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Royal medals for tsunami service

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Royal medals for tsunami service
08:45 CET+01:00
King Carl XVI Gustaf is to present medals to four Swedes for their service during the 2004 tsunami disaster in South East Asia, in which more than 500 Swedes were among the dead.

The four to receive the honour are diplomat Christer Asp, who worked at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok at the time, Jonas Hafström, Sweden's then-ambassador to Thailand, Stig Edqvist, who led the Swedish police's commission to identify Swedish victims and Lottie Knutson, information director of travel company Fritidsresor.

The medals, to be awarded at a ceremony at Stockholm's Royal Palace on Tuesday, are known as H.M. the King's Medal.

"This is really overwhelming, unexpected and naturally very pleasing," said Knutson, who was widely credited with bringing public and government attention to the plight of Swedish tourists stranded in Thailand.

Knutson emphasised that she was not alone at the office on the day of the disaster.

"There were lots of people working. I feel that this is recognition for 1,300 people," sahe said.

The tsunami-related medals are among 30 to be awarded on Tuesday to people who have contributed to the life of the nation. Three categories of medal - the Seraphim Medal, H.M. the King's Medal and the Litteris et Artibus Medal - are awarded twice yearly on the king's name days - Carl Day on 28th January and Gustaf Day on 6th June.

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