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

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

Ben Harrington

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

12 April 2013: Colin Callanan, Irish, Drowned. ACCIDENTDAL DEATH 

Nick Pearson

29 Aug 2012: 
Ben Harrington, British, reported motorcycle accident, but Coroner in Horsham Suxxex, last year refused to bring in a verdict of ACCIDENTAL DEATH citing lack of informatiopn from Thailand, The family campaigned for information.,
PICTURE LEFT. Nick Pearson.
His father Graham told the Mirrror:“IT seems like they just want to protect their tourist industry but we need to know what happened.”
He added: “IT is a living nightmare, we have to face the awful reality that we might never get the answers we need. I hope one day somebody will get to the bottom of what is happening on Koh Tao and what really happened to our wonderful son”.

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. 

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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