Norwegian government invites tsunami victims’ families to Thailand

According to the newspaper Aftenposten, hundreds of family members of those Norwegians killed in the tsunami that hit South Asia in December have accepted the government’s invitation to travel to Phuket for a week either in May or in October.
     The government has extended the invitation to survivors of the 64 Norwegians confirmed dead so far, and the 20 who remain missing.
     The government will cover all expenses for the trip and officials expect that families of all 84 victims will be represented at the memorials planned in connection with the trips.
     Cathrine Andersen of the foreign ministry confirmed that “very many” people had accepted the invitation, and she said the government hasn’t set a specific budget for the memorial effort.
     With this move there are also reports of criticism. “I can understand that some believe this may show favouritism,” Foreign Minister Jan Petersen told Aftenposten. “But I would ask that people show some generosity after this unique catastrophe. We want to ease peoples’ pain as best we can. I’ve encountered wide understanding for this.”

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