Thai PM: Tourists in Bikinis Aren't Safe—Unless They're Ugly

Or, what not to say after 2 tourists are brutally murdered in your country
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2014 3:25 PM CDT
Thai PM: Tourists in Bikinis Aren't Safe—Unless They're Ugly
Thailand PM Prayuth Chan-ocha gives a traditional greeting "wai" before speaking before parliament in Bangkok, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Faced with the savage murder of two young British tourists on one of his country's most popular beaches, Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha elected to address the topic of tourist safety. Unfortunately, he wasn't entirely reassuring, reports the Independent: "There are always problems with tourist safety. They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere." And then he got downright repugnant: "Can they be safe in bikinis ... unless they are not beautiful?" The implication that David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, had no reasonable expectation of safety because they were attractive is not going over well, adds the Daily Mirror, which further quotes Chan-ocha as saying, "We have to look into the behavior of (the victims), too." Some 800,000 British tourists visit Thailand every year.

Autopsies have shown that Witheridge suffered fatal head wounds, while Miller also suffered head wounds and defensive wounds, but drowned in the ocean, reports the AP. And while a bloody hoe was found nearby, police are now saying that they believe there was more than one murderer and more than one weapon. DNA matches have thus far proven elusive, though DNA on Witheridge's body did match a cigarette butt found on the beach. Cops are currently questioning a Brit and three Burmese migrants, notes the Independent. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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