Thailand’s military ruler on Wednesday questioned whether tourists in bikinis are safe in the kingdom, in comments following the murder of two Britons whose battered bodies were found on Koh Tao.
David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found dead on the southern island of Koh Tao on Monday, sparking a hunt for their killers. Post-mortem examinations were carried out on Wednesday after the bodies were brought to Bangkok.
“There are always problems with tourist safety. They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also the army chief, told government officials. But “can they be safe in bikinis… unless they are not beautiful?” he said, addressing the issue of tourist safety in a speech broadcast live on television.
Prayuth, who seized power from elected government in a May 22 coup, is well known for making off-the-cuff remarks. His statement appeared to echo others made to reporters on Tuesday in which he questioned the behaviour of the murder victims as well as the perpetrators.
Thailand is desperate to avoid further damage to its lucrative tourism industry, which has been battered in recent months after a prolonged political crisis ended in the coup.
Story: AFP / Photo: Beautiful Disaster