Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Clumsy attempts to mend Thailand’s image, after a video about the rape of a 19-year-old Dutch model in the Thai Province of Krabi went viral on the internet, looked set to backfire today.

This follows a statement by Tourism Minister Chumphol Silapa-archa, who was today reported in the Nation newspaper in Bangkok as saying the incident at the end of July could not be considered rape.

And the reason he gave for making that statement was that Police Major General Loi Inghaphairoj stated: “The woman had dinner with the Thai suspect and a foreign man. Later she told the foreign man to return to the hotel before heading off with the suspect.”

If that statement is true there are fears that some authorities may have taken a ‘sulking’ attitude to the music video ‘Evil Man in Krabi’ and are now actively supporting the defendant.

But worse it confirms some people’s worst fears that Thai police believe that eating or drinking in the company of a Thai man is tantamount to an invitation to sex.
Kirsty Jones

No such statement has come from the Thai police since the rape and murder of Kirsty Jones in a Chiang Mai guest house in 2000. 

Then there was a furious foreign backlash after a police officer in the investigation was quoted as saying Ms. Jones, aged 23, was a probably a willing participant to sex and only only objected when her attacker began to anally rape her.

Her attacker has never been found.

The Nation in Bangkok also reported Suwat Sitthilor, the permanent secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, as saying: "I am now consulting with the Information and Communications Technology Ministry about the possibility of blocking the video from being viewed in Thailand."

And he said a video clip promoting Thailand as a tourism destination will be produced and distributed among ambassadors of many countries, including the Netherlands, Australia, UK and China.

 Krabi police may also be making their own video to present their side of the case.

In fact the established facts are that the father of the Dutch model has never actually attacked the Royal Thai Police. This news line has only appeared in the Thai media.

What he has attacked is the Thai justice system which provides easy bail for people charged with serious offences.
No prostitutes sign at Chang Bar Ao Nang

Further, on the night in question the Dutch model went out to dinner with her boyfriend – not a foreigner and the tourist guide charged with raping her.

The boyfriend left the Chang Bar in Ao Nang early because he was tired and his girlfriend, who was celebrating her 19th birthday, said she felt safe to return home later on her own.

The girl’s father has not promoted his video in Holland. He said this was a Thai issue.

“I have been asked but refused to give interviews to television news shows and chat shows in Amsterdam. I just want justice for my daughter.”

He is expected to make a statement later today. It is understood he is aware of the latest allegations made by the Tourism and Sports Minister and Royal Thai Police and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he might now be composing another song about attitudes to rape and sexual abuse.

In the case of media coverage of foreigners being attacked in Thailand – notably a case where a young international school teacher was attacked on the Sky train in Bangkok after breaching rules and bringing balloons along with his six year old daughter, and another where a jet ski boss was caught in Phuket ripping of British Royal Marines – there is often a media fuelled backlash against foreigners.

(Thai understanding of the west and western tourists' understanding of Thailand is incongruous at the best of times. At some level Thai men think all foreign women are 'up for it' and western men vice-versa in regards to Thai women. This seems to be confirmed to some by Thailand's thriving sex industry, western pornography, and from the Thais point of view the loose behaviour 'in public' of many western tourists and some local foreign residents.)

The plan to block the video to Thai viewers could send the already viral video through the roof as foreigners log in to see what the fuss is about. Most people in Thailand following this story have already seen it.

This morning the video had received some 333.000  hits.

The plan by the Tourism Ministry to supply promotional videos to Embassies is unlikely to have any affect. A foreign diplomat spoken to last night said that the Thai official reaction to this case was ‘quite shocking’.

He added: “What’s appearing in the press is not the same as what is appearing on YouTube and Thai internet forums where most Thais appear to be supportive of the father.”

There are however fears that the backlash may result in the acquittal of the suspect, a tour guide from Koh Phangan in the 'national interest'.  While the young woman has made a statement in court and the suspect has been identified, caught on CCTV, and DNA tests taken – the DNA results have yet to come back from the Police Forensic Laboratory.

Statement of Boyfriend

On the 27th of July we went to Chang Bar around 11.30 to celebrate Xxxx's upcoming birthday. Around 2 am we walked outside and I went to fetch the scooter.

At the time Xxxx was waiting next to a big tree opposite Chang Bar. As I came back with the scooter I saw a Thai guy sitting next to her. Xxxx had decided to stay longer as I was tired and went back to my guesthouse to sleep.

“The next morning around 9 am I was woken by the owner of Nature View guesthouse telling me that the hospital was on the line and wanted to talk to me.

"The nurse/Dr told me that I must go to the emergency room ASAP.

“As I walked into the Emergency Room xxxx was sitting on the hospital bed crying and very traumatised. I asked what went wrong and she said ‘I was raped’.

“Besides that, I recognised that she was not only raped but beaten too as her right side of her face was swollen up with a dark shaded blue undertone . Her upper lip was swollen severely.

“She told me that in the early hours of the morning around 3 am she got a lift with the Thai guy she was talking to as he offered to take her home.

“When she realised that he was driving the wrong way she asked him to stop, said thank you and that she would walk herself.

“When she got of the scooter the Thai guy grabbed her and pulled her further away from the road and threw her down on the ground.

“He overpowered her. She said if she didn't stop fighting him he would’ve killed her, as he was very aggressive and was beating the last energy out of her until she was very weak.

“After he raped her he got on his scooter and drove off. Xxxx got help from some locals nearby and got taken to the Krabi Hospital”.

The Netherlands Embassy is monitoring the case.

The accused has removed all his photographs from his Facebook page.

Meanwhile the Bangkok Post again ran a report saying that tourism was affected in Krabi and that police said the video was 'not very accurate' - although it did not stipulate the innaccuracies.

Despite many murders and rapes Thai tourist arrivals continue to rise year on. The only recent slumps came after the Tsunami 2004 (but only Phuket and Khao Lak were affected), during SARS, Avian Flu when Bangkok International airport was blockaded, and the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, which caused international flights to be cancelled.

UPDATE: The young woman's father said from Amsterdam  tonight that in the light of  a 'hallucinatory' statement made at Ministry level in Thailand he was now seeking advice from his own government which has been monitoring the case. He had been invited to take part in a major programme in Holland early next week and was now considering it. While his own government had not taken action, he said, he had been informed that the Swedish government was issuing a travel warning in relation to Krabi.


  1. Her attacker has never been found.

    Do you not mean 'never charged or prosecuted'?

  2. This follows a statement by Tourism Minister Chumphol Silapa-archa, who was today reported in the Nation newspaper in Bangkok as saying the incident at the end of July could not be considered rape.

    And the reason he gave for making that statement was that Police Major General Loi Inghaphairoj stated: “The woman had dinner with the Thai suspect and a foreign man. Later she told the foreign man to return to the hotel before heading off with the suspect.”


  3. Tourism Minister Chumphol Silapa-archa, how would you feel and react if this was your daughter, attacked and beaten? This question should be posed to the Krabi Police Chief as well.

  4. You can blame the Thais if that is how you see it. However I see a different side of people when they travel to Thailand . They become intoxicated by the land, the sea and the people and they let their guard down which is a tragic mistake. They do things in Thailand that they would not do in their own countries. As a stranger in a strange land you should never let your guard down; why would you? I cannot fathom this young man leaving his girlfriend sitting with a strange man and drive off to go to sleep at 2am; what was he thinking? Was there a spat? Did he drive off burning with jealousy because she was sitting with this strange man? I see his actions as irresponsible; I certainly would never, never have left my girlfriend (even a Thai girlfriend) sitting with a strange man and drove off to go to sleep! We are all responsible for our own safety. Evil lurks in every corner of the world. There is no place on this earth that is free from it and when you let your guard down evil will creep in, it is what evil does, it lurks in the shadows and it preys on the vulnerable. Never never let your guard down. I have lived in Thailand for 15 years it is as safe a place as anywhere on this earth but you cannot allow yourself to become a victim by letting your guard down. Travel in groups, take responsibility for each other in the group and never leave someone alone with a stranger. It's as simple as that.

    1. Jim I have to answer this one - not because your points are not valid, but due to what you have missed. Firstly yes the boyfriend will be absolutely mortified and be blaming himself. But take him out of the equation. The fact is that in Europe young women are accustomed to coming and going at their pleasure. Thailand does not present a reality. The people are very friendly but that friendly person pretending to offer you advice may not be so in reality. People are deceived. This is not a normal scenario in Europe. This is not quite the same as date rape. You should read this article in the Bangkok Post.
      On Thai TV soaps the female lead is often raped. It appears she either starts enjoying it half way through or later when she decides to get her man (yes - the rapist)
      Unlss you have a subscription this link may expire shortly

    2. Hi Andrew yes I read that as well and familiar with the term Pum. It is actually a common thing that happens to many young Thai girls in Thai society not only in the drama television. I was only trying to make travelers aware of the importance to be on guard when traveling to countries they know nothing about. Anyway how have you been? It has been a while since we've met; where do you go now that Washington Square is no more?

    3. As a white Western woman who spent four years of her life in Thailand (and who can speak Thai / understands much of the non verbal), I'd like to add there is specific sort of objectification/racism reserved for us, meaning white skinned Western women. As a result, no, it's not as safe as any other country and what is often considered smart in the West, is exactly what may put you in danger in Thailand. I have had more than my fair share of frightening situations, the perpetrators sometimes (as there was more than one incident) being Thai men that I knew and took my time to trust (ie. months). How we are perceived and treated was one of the main reasons I started my blog and my consulting - I did this in an effort to help people, particularly women travelling to Thailand - and people responded. I have a slew of my own stories (and have only discussed some publicly). Other women have reached out with their experiences - often it has been an effort in healing and trying to understand what has happened. There is little out there to educate. There is much exploitation going on within Thailand's borders that is not receiving attention(with Thai women as well). When people ask why I left Thailand, my answer is always the same, the racism and mysogeny. I began to feel unsafe. I realized I had no power, meaning anything could happen to me and would have no value in the justice system.

      My best to the Dutch family. I'm very glad this situation is receiving media attention.

      Thank-you Andrew for keeping us up to date .

  5. I see that the video has been removed from Youtube. Do you know if it has been uploaded anywhere else?