In the weeks and months leading up to July 5, Governor Norraphat had not only assured Chinese government officials that their tourists were safe – this being on more than one occasion – but also government officials from the Netherlands and Pakistan.
Sadly, Governor Norraphat’s comments came back to haunt him – this we believe is what you call karma.
For Governor Norraphat to make such bold statements regarding tourists’ safety is a dangerous move, especially considering who he made the comments to, and even more so that he is speaking about safety in a country which has the worst road accident death toll in the world.
Perhaps it would have been better for Gov Norraphat just to have simply told these officials – who actually came directly to him to raise their concerns of their tourists’ safety – that Phuket tries its utmost to keep all tourists safe but that sometimes there are incidents which cause death that are well beyond his and others’ control.
Surely it is better to play it safe rather than tell bare-faced lies?
So now we turn our attention to the July 5 Phoenix boat disaster and how truthful officials have been in their reporting of it.
For days the initial total number of people reported as being on the Phoenix was consistently reported as being 105. However, on July 9, some four days after the tragic incident, that number was brought down to 89, a difference of some 16 people.
At that time Royal Thai Police Deputy Commander Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul gave absolutely no reason for the reduction in numbers, perhaps hoping it would go unnoticed, and in the large part it pretty much did.
Another issue which has been skirted around was the ages of those who lost their lives.
Despite several attempts, The Phuket News has been unsuccessful in obtaining a list of even the ages of those who perished in the Phoenix disaster.
There have been rumours that some 13 children lost their lives, and one local English media company even claimed on its Facebook page that the number was 16.
Whether the truth will ever come out we will have to wait and see.
However, what we do hope is that what was reported by government officials throughout this tragic event was the truth, as if not, and as Governor Norraphat has learned himself, that lies will come back and haunt you on one way or another. That we believe is what they call karma.