Koh Tao Murders – Why all the fuss?
There are a considerable number of people who know of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, both of whom were brutally murdered on Koh Tao Island, Thailand, September 2014.
From the outset of their bodies being discovered the entire case has been marred in suspicion of a cover-up and that the two Burmese boys, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, arrested and subsequently convicted of the murders, were little more than scapegoats in order to protect a mafia family who rules the island and where many think the murders were the work of the son of the head of the mafia family.
The Thai authorities however insisted they had arrested the right perpetrators and that they had sufficient DNA evidence to convict them; a statement that proved to be untrue when the trial began and yet despite the lack of evidence the judge ruled that the evidence was sufficient and sentenced both boys to death.
Lawyers for the boys intend to appeal.
Now less than one month after the conviction Hannah’s sister Laura has stepped in to declare the entire investigation and trial a farce.
Speaking out she claims that Thailand is not the ‘Land of Smiles’ it likes to present itself as but rather a country full of people who hate and despise foreigners.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Laura went on to accuse the Thai authorities, mainly the Royal Thai Police, as being inept and highly corrupt; there remains a high level of speculation that the police were paid off by the mafia family.
Her comments to the Daily Mail regarding Thailand, its people and the Thai authorities, was scathing to say the least. She stated that Thais had no regard for human life and treated people like dirt; such a statement may ring true considering Thailand’s deplorable track record on Human Rights abuses, especially with the fishing industry where slavery is rife.
Laura also claimed that senior Thai officials brushed off her parent’s grief and simply told them to go home and ‘just make another one’.
Laura now reports that her Facebook page has been bombarded with threatening comments from Thais; one stated that ‘Looks like the murders only did half a job’; this came quickly after Laura condemned the investigation, Thai people and notably the Thai Authorities.
So why all the fuss? Surely the Thais are right … why can’t they simply have another one? What’s the big deal about a couple of young people being brutally murdered?
Those questions will have most people shaking their heads in disbelief that anyone with a soul could even contemplate asking such questions … after all the murderers and the Thai authorities need bringing to justice and yet go back and read the questions again. I can assure you that most people couldn’t care less.
ThaiVisa is probably the largest expat forum in Thailand and despite it being heavily moderated (so as not to fall foul of draconian Thai laws; made worse since the Military coup with Article 44), the consensus appear to be almost universal … that is the Thai police bungled the investigation in order to convict two innocent Burmese and ultimately to protect the real killers.
Follow the comments for months it became apparent that these ‘expats’ appeared to care enormously about the murders of two innocent people and yet I can tell you not one of them really had an ounce of concern; their comments, whilst admirable, was nothing more than empty rhetoric; merely a past time to moan about and indeed berate the Thai authorities.
How can I make such a statement? Let me explain … one of underlying elements of the conversations was that people (foreign tourists) should avoid Thailand at all costs and yet here there the expats are and there they remain.
There were, and remain, vehement calls for tourists to boycott Thailand and yet I found not a single comment where any of these expats called upon the entire expat community to get up and walk out.
If the expats had been that concerned, horrified and truly disgusted with the actions of the Thai authorities then why not make a peaceful stand and leave?
It will almost certainly be argued that the financial impact on the Thai economy wouldn’t be that significant and yet that wouldn’t have to be the main goal. Could you imagine say 100,000 expats all leaving in their droves? Without question the international press would have picked this up which would have had a significant impact on Thai Tourism which equates to approximately 10% of Thailand’s GDP.
Of course there would be other ramifications if expats left by their droves; there are many who are employed to do jobs that Thais simply do not have the expertise for and as such would have an even greater impact on the Thai economy.
Just today, on the island of Phuket, there have been reports of a number of drive-by bag snatchings; a crime that appears to be on the increase. One expat women who fell victim to this crime was a writer for a Phuket Lifestyle magazine; it beggars curiosity as to what she will write about when her stab wounds heal.
Thailand is, without question, one of the most dangerous tourist destinations in the world. It has the second highest road fatalities rate in the world, second to war-torn Libya and violent gun crime is twice that of the US despite having a population some 6 times less.
According to Thailand’s Authority of Tourism (TAT) the country receives over 30 million foreign tourists a year adding some 2.2 trillion Thai Baht to the economy and yet there is not a single day that goes by when it isn’t reported that some foreigner has fallen victim to crime or the prevalence of basic safety standards, resulting in serious injury and in many cases death.
After reading many thousands of comments on the ThaiVisa forum it would appear that most of the expats despise Thailand and its people and yet incredibly they remain. After some research it has been suggested that most of the expats are males aged 50 and above and the underlying reason they stay is due to the easy access of cheap sex from young girls and booze that appears to flow from the bars in an endless stream.
The only conclusion I can derive from this is that my initial questions above has to be answered thus … nobody cares and those purporting to do so from the comfort of their armchairs (or rather bar stools) have little or no moral standing; it’s empty rhetoric from a perverted bunch of drunks and frankly considering the deplorable state of Thailand, its lack of humanity, its almost unrivaled levels of corruption and a continuous rise is violent crime the expats deserve Thailand as much as Thailand deserves the expats.
As for foreign tourists … most are in fact blissfully unaware of just how perilous a holiday in Thailand can be, for those peddling the land of death are more concerned about their money than their well-being.
For the record I used to live in Thailand and I witnessed first-hand a society that cared about one thing and one thing only … MONEY. There’s an old joke … How does a Thai spell LOVE … M.O.N.E.Y. It might appear funny to some but there are many reported cases where money has been the motive for murdering expats in order for Thais to effectively steal the victims’ assets.
If you are looking for a holiday then I would strongly suggest Thailand is NOT on your list of potential destinations. If you have kids who are travelling on a gap year, or just want to explore then Thailand is NOT the place they should consider travelling to.
As for the expats or as they are more commonly referred to … sexpats … you are, in the mainstream, as deplorable and as despicable as the Thai authorities you so love to berate. For those of you who can sober up and find a modicum of humanity you might consider leaving; at least your money will no longer be used to continuously perpetrate crimes against innocent victims.
UPDATE – Jan 15, 2016
It is now being reported that the Royal Thai Police are investigating the Facebook post made by Laura Witheridge where she attacked the Royal Thai Police and the Judiciary system as being incompetent and corrupt. If the Thai Police decide that her post violate their draconian defamation laws (yes the Thai Police can sue anyone who says anything derogatory about them) they fully intend to issue an arrest warrant for Laura and charge her with Defamation and Computer Crimes under their equally draconian Computer Crimes Act.
Yes despite this young lady losing her sister to what is often referred to as the ‘Land of Tourist Deaths’ the Thai Police have the audacity to consider charging Laura with crimes against Thailand, its Police and Judiciary system.
Such may appear unbelievable to those living in a democratic country but Thais are all about ‘saving face’ and will go to any lengths in order to preserve it … even murder!