Monday 23 October 2017

Thai leader apologies over 'bikini' comment

Thailand's military ruler has apologised for suggesting that foreign visitors to its world-famous beaches might be unsafe wearing bikinis as the family of a British tourist who was brutally murdered at a Thai resort arrived in the country.

Relatives of Hannah Witheridge (23), whose body was found on a beach alongside fellow British victim David Miller, hugged each other as they prepared to meet Royal Thai Police at their headquarters in Bangkok.

Miss Witheridge (inset) and 24-year-old Mr Miller were found with severe head wounds on the island of Koh Tao on Monday.

In the face of mounting criticism Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "I apologise that I have spoken too harshly ... I didn't mean to criticise or look down on anyone. Today I can guarantee that Thailand is still safe ... I wanted to warn [the tourists] to be careful."

Earlier this week he had claimed that foreigners visiting the Southeast Asian country think "they can do whatever they want, wear bikinis wherever they like ... [but] will they be safe?"

And he was quoted as saying: "Can they be safe in bikinis ... unless they are not beautiful?"

His comments came as the investigation into the murders appears to have stalled with police having no suspects.

hnews@herald.ie

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