Thailand in the news

Thailand in the news - Bad press

U.S. cracks down on maritime security offenders
- Reuters, September 10, 2004
...It will also increase boardings of ships bearing the flags of 13 other countries -- including the world's largest ship register Panama -- because of two months of below average compliance with new international security standards...
Apart from Panamanian-flagged ships, the worst offenders include vessels registered in Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Honduras, Hong Kong, Malta, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore and Thailand.

Dominican a perverts' paradise
- Canoe, September 10, 2004
It's being called Canada's Thailand. A perverts' paradise where children as young as 12 are being sold into prostitution -- usually by a family member looking to cash in on the pink-tanned turistas and their appetite for sun, sand and sex...

How British demand feeds slaughter of rare species
- The Guardian, September 12, 2004
Today among the 10,000 stalls of Bangkok's sprawling Chatuchak weekend market, a major draw for British tourists, The Observer was repeatedly told it would be possible to order orang-utans, snow leopards or rare birds by market traders. Similarly sources told Monkey World they could buy an orang-utan for ?4,000 but that prices will fall after the spotlight of Thailand's international talks fades.
...Of equal concern are the findings of an Observer investigation that has unearthed a trial of corruption, harassment and even death threats as elements within Thailand resist efforts to suppress the trade before the gaze of the world's media arrives. Even the Thai Prime Minister, it has emerged, has come under fierce pressure from the powerful interests that profiteer from the covert smuggling of endangered creatures.
...One prominent conservationist was recently told by a Thai official that he could not even attend Cites. Attempts were even made to discredit Edwin Wiek, who runs the acclaimed Wildlife Rescue Centre in Petchaburi, north of Bangkok. Despite nursing 115 previously sickly and malnourished animals he has been arrested and charged on grounds that have left supporters baffled. Other campaigners have fared far worse. One was recently killed after trying to protect a mangrove swamp from developers. A forestry campaigner was shot dead two weeks ago north of Bangkok. 'I am on the list, by the time you found out how high up you are it's too late', one told The Observer last week in the safety of a guarded hotel.
Steven Galster, director of Thailand's WildAid, said: 'People get killed around here for a lot less.'...

Tragic toll of Thailand travellers - Daily Record, September 9, 2004
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