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Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24: killed on Thailand's Koh Tao

Tourist Holiday Island Murders: Thailand Tells Britain that PM is Tightening Security

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
PHUKET: Thailand's new Minister of Foreign Affairs has written to Britain expressing ''profound regret and sadness'' at the deaths of two young British tourists who were murdered on a holiday island in Thailand earlier this week.

It's an unusual move and no doubt his sympathy is genuine. Britain is second to Russia in the number of tourists that visit Thailand from Europe each year.

The message of condolences is addressed to Philip Hammond, who has been Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July.

General Tanasak Patimapragorn, who was recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister as well as Foreign Minister, writes as follows:

Excellency,

I have learned with profound regret and sadness of the deaths of two British nationals, Ms Hannah Victoria Witheridge and Mr David William Miller, on Koh Tao on 15 September 2014. On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand, I would like to extend to you and, through you, our sincere condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families for their irreparable losses.

I wish to reassure that the Royal Thai Government attaches highest priority to protecting safety of foreign nationals residing and visiting Thailand. On this particular case, General Prayut Chan-O-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, has personally instructed the relevant Thai authorities to tighten security measures in the area. The instruction was also to conduct a transparent and thorough investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding Ms Witheridge and Mr Miller's unfortunate deaths, with a view to arresting and prosecuting the culprits in the most expeditious manner. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work closely with the British Embassy in Bangkok and is ready to render assistance in any way.

Accept, Your Right Honorable, the assurances of my highest consideration.

General Tanasak Patimapragorn
Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand

Thailand has been under military control since General Prayuth took charge on May 22. European Governments have objected to military control and insisted on a return to democracy as soon as possible.

The letter of condolence has been posted today at mfa.go.th

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"I wish to reassure that the Royal Thai Government attaches highest priority to protecting safety of foreign nationals residing and visiting Thailand.."

We will have to take that statement as fact, despite statistics that don't lie. Obviously, there are inherent dangers on roadways and beaches that need improvement soon, or else a reduction in tourism may not be blamed exclusively on Thai "political turmoil."

I would think by now that excessive foreigner fatalities year on year on year - should make more people consider other alternatives for a beach holiday. The tipping point has not been reached, OBVIOUSLY

Posted by farang888 on September 18, 2014 03:40

Editor Comment:

You've got to be joking, farang888. And if it happens to be that a non-Thai is responsible for these deaths, you attempt to blame Thailand will prove farcical.

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Put another way Ed, Thailand is still very safe for the vast majority of tourists. That's the flip side of the coin, and no need to have a source for that!

I do not seek to ascribe blame, but if forced to - Foreigners and Thailand bear responsiblity about equally - As an outsider who doesn't spend more than 3 months a year in the Kingdom, fatalities seem excessive - no matter the race - or perpetrators in tragic individual circumstances.

Posted by farang888 on September 18, 2014 05:25

Editor Comment:

Headlines always scream and do not put tragedies in proportion. Deaths on the roads are certainly needless and preventable. But visitors will ride without helmets and after having too much to drink. People will swim when it's unsafe. When the risks are no greater than in developed countries, there will be fewer reasons to visit Thailand.

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Much to little much too late. The General's insensitive comments have already been splashed all over the World's media.

Posted by jonty on September 18, 2014 13:09


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