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MediaWATCH: Tourist Death Theories Abound

MediaWATCH: Tourist Death Theories Abound

Friday, May 8, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A new daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Bangkok Post: The Government is to enforce the Internal Security Act on Phuket for security reasons during June's Asean Plus Six summit. PM Abhisit says the Government needs to study the details and conditions of the act and would explain the imposition of the law to the public; The Government will pursue a crackdown on pirated goods and intellectual property violations despite the outcry of vendors. Traders and law enforcement officers engaged in a free-for-all during a raid in Patpong on Wednesday night. About 10 officials were injured.

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cnn.com: While the H1N1 flu virus stirs fears about international travel, there remains a hearty group who say such official advice doesn't dictate whether they will or won't take a trip. Danger is part of the human experience, some of these travelers say. Author Robert Young Pelton says people should travel wherever they want to, regardless of warnings. ''The media will never write a story that says, 'Nothing happened, everything's fine,' so we tend to be inundated with stories about violence,'' he says.

seattlepi.com: One of several international outlets showing an interest in the unexplained sudden deaths of two young women tourists on Phi Phi, the Post Inteligencer reports: ''The mysterious deaths, especially if not soon explained, could deal another blow to Thailand's tourism industry, which has been battered by the world economic downturn and domestic political unrest that saw Bangkok's two airports closed down by demonstrators for a week last year and rioting in the Thai capital.''

komonews.com: '''It all seems very suspicious," said [victim Jill] St. Onge's best friend Brooke Freede, who received the news on Sunday. KOMO now reports attention is focussing on fumes from the nearby water treatment plant. Back in the Northwest, bloggers are speculating about the mystery brewing more than 7000 miles away. St. Onge was a well-known member of the community as an artist and an employee of the Shadowland Restaurant.

Associated Press: Police are investigating [the two mysterious deaths] while awaiting for autopsy results from Bangkok. Theories include food or alcohol poisoning and toxic fumes, but nothing has yet been proved. The guest house owner says the women were throwing up, but the owner thought it was because everyone went out drinking and partying.

Scandasia.com: ''The Thai authorities now suspect cassava, a very common vegetable in the Asian kitchen, to be the killer of the two tourists on Phi Phi. Cassava can produce the poisonous Prussic acid when not cooked properly. The police have now confirmed that there has been found cyanide, a biproduct of Prussic acid, in the stomachs of both women. That has led to the theory of the Cassava-poisoning.''

aei.org: (American Enterprise Institute) Thailand is going further and is breaking patents on a heart disease drug as well as HIV drugs. Thailand claims that this action is to support its goal of making high-quality medicines available to patients on a sustainable basis, but it has lowered its health budget, belying this claim. ''The damaging practice of breaking patents will harm Thai patients as the research-based industry withdraws from the country, resulting in less investigation of drugs that respond to resistant strains of diseases,'' the aei says.

The Nation: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has made a plea to all 76 provincial governors to help bring about national reconciliation and to reduce social strife. During a Bangkok workshop for more than 1000 provincial governors and deputies across the country, Abhisit said the government alone could not resolve social and political discord. It needed cooperation from provinces to achieve national reconciliation. ''I do not ask you to do it for the government but I ask you to do it for the people and the country,'' he said. He believed reconciliation could be achieved by upholding justice and involving the public in the process.

telegraph.co.uk: An American man has been arrested for swimming across a lake and hiding inside the compound where the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is held under house arrest. The man spent 48 hours at the home of the Nobel peace laureate. According to the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, a mouth piece for the military regime, he swam into the compound on Sunday night but was only detected and arrested as he swam out of the compound on Tuesday night.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phi Phi Mystery Deaths: The Room Maid's Account
Phi Phi Photo Album Thai guesthouse maids have a way of knowing what goes on and the maid at the Laleena on Phi Phi was close to two mysterious deaths. This is her account.
Phi Phi Mystery Deaths: The Room Maid's Account

Swiss Tourist's Body Found on Krabi Beach
Latest The latest death of a woman tourist, whose body has been found on a Krabi beach, compounds the problems for an industry trying to overcome a spate of bad news.
Swiss Tourist's Body Found on Krabi Beach

Dead Tourist 'Pushed off Phi Phi': Boyfriend
Latest The boyfriend of an American who died in strange circumstances along with a Norwegian woman on Phi Phi has rejected suggestions that they argued.
Dead Tourist 'Pushed off Phi Phi': Boyfriend

Phi Phi Deaths: No Word on What Killed Women
Latest Inquiries were continuing today into the mysterious deaths of two women who occupied adjoining rooms at the same Phi Phi guesthouse. Several rumors have been discounted.
Phi Phi Deaths: No Word on What Killed Women

Phi Phi 'Poisoning' Kills Two Tourists
Update A case of apparent poisoning on Phi Phi has left two young women dead, a Norwegian and an American. A third tourist, a Norwegian teenager, survived after being treated at a local hospital.
Phi Phi 'Poisoning' Kills Two Tourists

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