The Thai Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, officially opened the construction work on a strategic airstrip at Mukdharn, Northeast Thailand, near the Laotian border, on Friday.
MLS Premier Kittikachorn walks past honour guards toward pavilion (2 shots)
MS Premier in pavilion
MS Premier addresses crowd
MS Premier and Buddhist monk towards airstrip
MS Crowd looks on
MS Monk blesses bulldozer
MS Premier climbs on bulldozer
MS Drives it to trees (3 shots)
MS Premier out of bulldozer into landrover
MS Other bulldozer start clearing site
MS Premier drives off to village
MS Premier among villagers
MS Premier participating in welcome ceremony (3 shots)
CU Small boy talking (ZOOM TO) Premier
MS Premier talks to villagers (2 shots)
MS Drives off to camp
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Background: The Thai Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, officially opened the construction work on a strategic airstrip at Mukdharn, Northeast Thailand, near the Laotian border, on Friday. the work is being done by army engineers from Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.
The airstrip near this frontier town in part of the SEATO aid to Thailand.
The six hundred thousand-pound sterling airstrip, which is five thousand feet long, is expected to be finished in March next year. Working on the project sometimes in temperatures of 100 degrees or more are 625 British, 50 Australian and 33 New Zealand army engineers.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the work by driving a bulldozer at a tree, bringing it to the ground. The bulldozer was earlier blessed by a Buddhist monk.
Before touring the camp site, the Thai Premier mixed freely with the villagers and attended a ceremony of welcome.
It was announced at the opening ceremony that the engineers had volunteered to work in their spare time laying water pipelines to nearby villages for the benefit of the local people. A hospital will also be built for use as a district medical centre.