Monday 19 August 2019

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.


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