Krabi Police Damage Control Lunacy
Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in TAT, Thailand

Damage control in the Krabi rape case by Thai Government Officials is still going ahead full steam.

The Krabi Police are pointing their fingers at the Thai Judicial system for releasing on bail a Thai tour guide in Krabi, who confessed to the crime after a DNA match and a CCTV ID by the victim, and the Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports has yet to apologize for putting his foot in his mouth claiming this cannot be rape since the victim shared a meal with the accused. Krabi Police are also pointing their fingers at the victim.

Krabi Thailand

Krabi Thailand

The Krabi Police have stooped to new lows in victim’s rights by producing another video in order to save face. Doing so, they have publicly shown images of the victim. They show the rape victim holding hands with the accused – in a feeble effort to make this look like it was consensual. But, they also show an image of the young Dutch lady, with her “foreign friend”, receiving flowers from the Krabi Police. You can see the black eyes in the photo.

Showing photos of a rape victim, in most countries, is illegal. But, this is Thailand and the Thai Government, mainly the Royal Thai Police in Krabi, are grasping at straws to show that they didn’t cover-up this investigation. The more they do, the worse it gets. Here is the video, all in the Thai language, created to ward off the Evil Man From Krabi video posted by the victim’s father:

The Bangkok Post, in an editorial titled The trouble with Krabi, has this to say about the tragic event:

Officials in Krabi are in the process of proving yet again that a coverup is worse than the crime. They have been busy for almost a week in an attempt to cheapen a YouTube video on law enforcement in their province.

Yep. All about saving face and looking good in the media in a hope to save tourism revenue.

In so doing, police and tourist officials have tried to reverse crime and blame. It is difficult to decide whether the campaign is more tasteless or self-defeating. Either way, it must stop.

This is Thai style – deny and deflect – usually deflect back to the victim. I agree, it must stop. And, the Krabi Police should find some legal reason to re-arrest the accused and this time ensure that he does not get bail. Where is the outcry from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra?

The sad and now shocking story began on July 27, in Ao Nang district of Krabi, popular with foreign tourists.

But, it was not covered in the Bangkok Post or The Nation until the father’s video went viral. Are these two almost English online dailies as guilty for not reporting this case?

A Dutch woman was admitted for treatment at a hospital. Her injuries were serious and obvious enough that the doctor at first thought she had been in a motorcycle accident. But she said she had been beaten and raped, and the subsequent medical examination confirmed her story.

Remember, that Phuket recently went through a case where a young lady cried rape and blamed a tuk-tuk driver and her story was later found out to be false. She received a 15-day sentence for telling lies. This, I am sure, may have added to the skepticism and may be one of the reasons that it was only initially reported by Andrew Drummond.

The woman not only knew the man who allegedly assaulted her, but had been with him at a birthday party before the reported crimes. With the help of the doctor and others, she made a report of rape and battery to police. They accepted it and, nearly two months later, arrested a local man, Chumpon Khaonuan on a charge of rape. He quickly was granted bail by the Krabi court.

Why hasn’t anyone from the Krabi court stepped up to explain why bail was granted?

The father of the alleged rape victim uploaded a video to YouTube on Oct 23. Entitled “Evil Man from Krabi”, the stark black and white video shows a man with a rifle, singing for help “to put the Raperman from Krabi into jail”. As propaganda it was effective, going viral and causing dozens, perhaps hundreds of foreign tourists to cancel their planned trips to Krabi last week.

I wouldn’t call it propaganda. I would just say it was the father’s way of expressing his grief and anger. He is a musician and it only makes sense that he penned a song and uploaded the video.

The chief of Krabi province police, Pol Maj Gen Nantadet Yoinual, went to the media to claim the police had done a very good job, and had nothing to do with bail for the tour guide, Mr Chumpol. The head of the provincial tourism office, Wiyada Srirangkul, said the immediate job is to convince tourists that Krabi is safe. Neither of these important government officials had a word of sympathy for the woman, who by all accounts was the victim of a horrific crime. Pol Maj Gen Nantadet said he wants to post his own YouTube video to counter the one posted by the Dutch woman’s father.

For the Krabi Police, this is all about face – image. Like the editorial says, no words of sympathy at all. No public outcry in Thailand. No sympathy from the Thai Prime Minister.

Ms Wiyada was confident that hotel occupancy would reach 90% next month. And Suwat Sitthilor, permanent secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said he might recommend that the video, which had more than 325,000 views as of yesterday, be blocked in Thailand by the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.

Ms Wiyada works for the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Krabi Office, and she is just repeating the party line claiming that there was no impact on tourism. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is just plain stupid. Blocking the video in Thailand will still cause damage to Thai tourism everywhere else.

But it gets worse. Chumphol Silapa-archa, the minister of tourism under two governments, questioned whether the incident could be considered rape. After all, he reasoned, the woman had dined with the accused man.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports needs to have his lips glued together. He should be fired immediately and issue a public apology. Neanderthal thinking from a top official in the Thai Government.

This is not only crass but illogical. Yes, minister, women are beaten, raped and worse by men they know.

Most rape victims are attacked by someone they know. I am waiting for the Minister of Tourism and Sports to use the photo in the Krabi Police video, showing the victim holding hands with the accused, as evidence he was correct.

Government officials, right up to the ministerial rank, make Thailand look heartless.

Heartless is one word. Stupid, clueless, moronic, and idiotic are a few more terms I can think of.

They have essentially tried the tired old trick of turning a rape allegation back on the victim.

Deny and deflect. I am sure we will also hear that she wore shorts and a loose top, had been drinking, and was asking for it. Thainess – blame the victim.

The YouTube video was unfortunate, but so was the appearance of police delaying the arrest of a known suspect, and his quick bail.

No, the YouTube video was not unfortunate. Without it, the Bangkok Post, The Nation, and other online media sources around the world would not know of this tragic attack in Krabi. Delaying the arrest and the quick bail also was not unfortunate, but shows the incompetence of the Thai Police and failed Thai Judicial system.

Officials should join calls to make sure justice is done and seen to be done.

Well, since nothing has been done by Thai Officials since the video, Evil Man From Krabi, came out, other than put feet in mouth and make videos to look good in the eyes of other Thai Government Officials, I can’t see anything coming from Thai Government Officials other than more covering up, more claims by the Tourism Authority of Thailand that this had no impact, and more stupid statements from the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

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