BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Pop star Ricky Martin will visit tsunami-battered areas and comfort children affected by the Dec. 26 disaster during a visit to Thailand this week, an official said Monday.
Martin, chairman of the Ricky Martin Foundation, will focus on orphans and "families broken by the disaster," Foreign Ministry spokesman Sihasak Phuangketkeow said.
The People for Children project, under the San Juan, Puerto Rico-based foundation, helps to monitor and combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
"Out of his personal concern, he's coming over to Thailand to mobilize international support," Sihasak said by telephone.
Martin was scheduled to meet with Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai after he arrives Wednesday.
"I know he wants to see the devastation because he's concerned about orphans. I'm sure he will want to meet some of the orphans there in Phuket," Sihasak said. He didn't know if Martin planned to perform during his four-day visit.
The tsunami has claimed nearly 5,300 lives in Thailand and another 3,716 people are missing.
In October, Martin appealed to governments at the United Nations in New York to declare war on tourists who sexually exploit children around the world.
The singer's hits include "She Bangs," "Shake Your Bon-Bon" and "Livin' La Vida Loca."
On the Net:
Ricky Martin Foundation,
People for Children project,