The Mayor of a Thai island in Thailand has launched an attack on the British media claiming the island’s reputation is being damaged by ‘spurious’ news reports.
Chaiyan Turasakul , Mayor of Koh Tao told the Khao Sod (Fresh News) newspaper in Thailand that he was angered by unspecified ‘British media agencies’ who have suggested the recent death of Christina Annersley, 23, was connected to an alleged ‘mafia syndicate’ on the island.
“It may mislead foreign tourists who have never been to Koh Tao to think that Koh Tao is full of mafia who like to kill or exploit foreign tourists,” Chaiyan said.
“This is really what some foreign tourists think. I’ve seen them talking on social media.”
Christina Annersley, 23, was found dead in the ‘In Touch’ beach resort last week. Thai Police say there are no signs of foul play and Christina’s mother has stated her daughter died from natural causes. The ‘In Touch’ beach resort is owned by the same island family who own the AC Resort on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao.
It was at this resort that David Miller and Hannah Witheridge are reported to have had an argument before their bodies were found on Sairee Beach last September.
Both were murdered. Hannah was also raped. Two young 21-year-old Burmese migrant workers have been put on trial for their murder – but few people in Thailand believe they are guilty.
The island of Koh Tao in the Samui archipelago currently has a serious public relations problem due to mysterious deaths of foreigners there and the island’s lax attitude to tourist safety. Deaths have risen sharple from a previous average one or two a year.
|David Miller and Hannah Witheridge|
21 Jan 2015: Christina Annesley, 23, political activist and budding journalist found dead in the ‘In Touch’ resort Sairee Beach. Reported: NATURAL CAUSES
13 Jan 2015: Dimitri Povse, French, 26, found hanged with his hands tied behind his back: SUICIDE
1 Jan 2014: Nick Pearson, British, found dead after allegedly falling into rocks. Family does not believe Thai explanations. REPORTED ACCIDENTAL DEATH.
23 Dec 2014: Silje Fauskerud Mathisen, Norwegian – Boating accident (struck by propeller) ACCIDENTAL DEATH
15 Sept 2014: Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, British …MURDER AND RAPE
10 Nov 2014: Hanspeter Suter, Swiss, snorkeling accident: ACCIDENTAL DEATH
5 Oct 2014: Belgian tourist, drowning (fell off boat to Koh Tao) ACCIDENTAL DEATH
29 Aug 2012:
COMMENT: Does Koh Tao have a problem? It seems so. So what does the local Mayor do?
He goes on the attack when it is suggested things are not quite right on the island – just like the headman in Sairee Beach when his son was accused.
This is not going to solve the problem. If the Mayor cannot convince the Thai people that things are okay on Koh Tao, he certainly is not going to convince the foreign press.