Thai Princess performed with the NUS Thai Music Ensemble

Thai princess ends fruitful visit to S’pore, The Straits Times, Thursday 26 April 2007.

PRINCESS Maha Chakri Sirindhom of Thailand wrapped up a three-day visit to Singapore yesterday.

She made four stops on her last day here, which started at 9.30am and included a visit to the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) in Buona Vista.

Touring the institute’s research facilities, the princess showed”, “good grasp and great interest” in genetic sciences, said GIS’ deputy director, Associate Professor Lawrence Stanton.

Her three-day visit began, with the launch of the International Convention for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology.

The inaugural conference and exhibition, which ends today, showcases devices and technology designed to rehabilitate people with disabilities:

Known for her involvement in community and social development projects, the princess’
interest in health care stems from the influence of her grandparents, who were trained medical personnel.

In addition to her visits, she also made personal donations of $5,000 each to three centres for the disabled – the Rainbow Centre and Margaret Drive Special School, SIA-Minds Employment Development Centre, and the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.

On the diplomatic front” she met Singapore’s leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who hosted a lunch for her at the Istana.

The warm hospitality shown her left the princess “extremely pleased” with her visit, said the Thai Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Chalermpol Thanchitt.

It was not all work, though. She found time to attend a concert at the University Cultural Centre in Kent Ridge on Monday.

The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) performed two songs composed, by the princess.

She gamely agreed to join the orchestra on stage, playing a tune on the sor duang (a
two-string violin-like Thai instrument) with the National University of Singapore Thai Music Ensemble and SCO.

The rare royal performance received a standing ovation.

Said Mr Chalermpol: “It was a great show of friendship and unity.”

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