Arakan

The land that is known as Arakan by the foreigners is called Rakhaing-pray by its own people, Rakhaing-thar (Arakanese) who were titled this name in honour of preservation on their national heritage and ethics or morality.

KOH TAO - WHAT WILL BRITISH DETECTIVES FACE?

Posted by Arakan Indobhasa Monday, October 20, 2014 0 comments

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Flying Sporran's Weekend Diary

The forthcoming visit of British detectives to Thailand has stirred the imaginations of more than a few – but their visit is unlikely to be the same as the visit to the orient of two US detectives in the film ‘Black Rain’.

The cops played by Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia were chasing an errant Yakuza member, yes I guess they are all errant but this one was not following ‘The Code’, and set Tokyo ablaze in the process.

They were unceremoniously marched off the inquiry at one stage. But all came right in the end as the ‘good Yakuza’ helped them entrap the bad and the New York detectives, one of whom had a dodgy past, blew half of them away before getting their man.


This is however probably not the scenario for the British detectives coming to Thailand, who will arrive in grey flannels, white short sleeved shirts.

The British police are of course, a much more sober lot, who do not talk, unfortunately, in Hollywood sound bites and with no guns down their socks.

They are however coming to Thailand among widespread rumours that ‘mafia’ are behind the killings on Koh Tao.

Truth is stranger than fiction because Thai police deny there are any mafia figures on Koh Tao because, if there were they would have been told.

This will of course be their first starting point after which, they will be royally entertained, offered tourists trips and be asked when they are going home.



Some Embassy staff seem to be great fans of the Thai controlled CSI LA Facebook page which has been addressing the question of the non-existent mafia on Koh Tao, so the Brits may be more persistent, even though the Ambo is on an anti-media jaunt.


Now I apologise for being flippant for a minute because this really is a deadly serious matter. And there is quite frankly no more room for lies or playing around.

What happens is of importance to every parent who has had a son or daughter murdered in Thailand. But quite frankly there is going to be some play acting.

But the whole world will be watching the British detectives and praying they get it right and what they do have on their side, including the British public is the support of a large number of Thai people who too want to know the truth, and apparently a lot of people in the United States too.

The international community and journalists are getting tired of Thailand's legendary cover ups from bird flu, murder, abuse of migrant labour, to a modern day slave trade in Bangladeshis.



Meanwhile CSI LA continues relentlessly to target a University student in Bangkok as somehow involved in the Koh Tao murder and bit by bit has been picking away at his alibi while mentioning three mysterious men who got off island on a speedboat.

They claim for instance that while he claims he was with his amour in Bangkok, she was waffling away on Facebook in Pattaya  70 miles away (100 on mileage allowance) This young lad faced the press with a lawyer, and even showed CCTV of himself in Bangkok. Of course red herrings abound.

He must have been working overtime to get the alibi package going.

But by then of course General Panya Mamen had announced that the police were looking for two people, one the son of a head man who was in Bangkok.  Not long afterwards General Panya Mamen was removed as Chief of Police Region 8, South Thailand.

One of my favourite pictures however is this of the Bangkok University student.  This guy appears to have the ability to work through closed doors, or is it my imagination.


http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2014/10/koh-tao-what-will-british-detectives.html

Saturday, October 18, 2014

THAI PM CONCEDES TO REQUEST BY DAVID CAMERON
But Thai police chief not happy

British police have been given the green light to investigate DNA procedures and torture claims surrounding the Thai investigation into the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed that Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-Ocha has accepted that a British team can now fly out. He was reported to  have been pressed by Prime Minister David Cameron during the recent ASEM summit in Milan.



ITN reported quoted a diplomatic source as saying today:

“Obviously it is for the Thai authorities to lead and carry out that judicial process. But it is important that it is fair and transparent and that both of the families can be reassured that it is the murderers that have been brought to justice.

“There are two areas we are particularly concerned about. One is the verification of the DNA samples of the suspects, making sure there is further independent verification. And the second is the investigation into allegations of mistreatment of the suspects. What the PM secured this morning was agreement from the Thai PM that we can send some British police investigators to Kho Tao to work with the Royal Thai Police on this”.





National police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang however appears to be unhappy with allowing British police to come to Thailand and reports the Bangkok Post today 'is adamant that British officials monitoring the Koh Tao murder investigation will not be able to interfere with the Thai judicial process'.

"Allowing the UK team to conduct an investigation is tantamount to a breach of our sovereignty," Pol Gen Somyot told the Bangkok Post. It is possible he had not been told the news and may shortly be greeting the new arrivals.
The two Burmese currently held for rape and murder, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 21, from Arakan State, Burma, have both claimed they were beaten during their interrogation.

A third man, Ko Maung Maung, also claimed he was beaten both by police and a Rohingya interpreter, who owned a roti stall on Koh Samui.

After his release he told the parents of Win Zaw Htun that police stood on his arms and legs and jumped on his chest.

Other Burmese on Koh Tao have also claimed they were tortured with scalding water.

Koh Maung Maung after being interviewed by Burmese officials

On the matter of DNA British police will want to verify the matches and question who exactly ha been tested and who has not been tested, to clarify confusion in the media over alleged  'mafia' elements on Koh Tao.

Prime Minister Cameron approached the Thai Prime Minister after a massive public outcry not only in Britain but on Thai social media. There is widespread belief that if the trial continues and the two Burmese were found guilty, public opinion would remain that they were 'scapegoats'.


************

Footnote: This could be a straightforward situation or a very complicated one. It is one thing saying British police can investigate, another actually giving them full access. A lot hinges on whether the sperm DNA of the victims was found on the body of Hannah Witheridge and what else supports their presence at the murder scene. But there will also be matters of 'weapons used' and lack of DNA on them etc. 

Dyfed Powys Police arrive in Chiang Mai during the Kirsty Jones
murder enquiry. The murder has still not been solved.
The DNA of course the major issue and Thai police appear to have broken basic rules by (1) Not sealing of the crime scene and (2) not employing a forensic pathologist, issues raised by Dr, Porntip Rojanasunan, Director General of the Central Institute of Forensic Science. What does this mean exactly?  

Well police blocked those best qualified to examine the crime scene and deliberately excluded independent experts from the DNA analysis on site. In short if there were any secrets Thai police were keeping them to themselves. These act alone make the investigation suspect and court evidence suspect - but in Thailand courts can be very compliant.


Having spent a considerable time at the Department of Special Investigations over the last few weeks and met the officers who took over the investigation of the rape and murder of Kirsty Jones from Chiang Mai Police, including those who flew to the UK, I am all too aware how difficult the job of British police will be. 

Chiang Mai Police had undoubtedly closed ranks on the investigation and by the time the DSI took over the moment had passed. In Chiang Mai, like Koh Tao, persons of influence were also reported to be in the shadows. That, and public opinion will almost certainly be behind the latest move.
From CSI LA

 http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2014/10/british-police-to-be-allowed-to-check.html

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 WHILE BRITAIN'S AMBASSADOR TARGETS THAI MEDIA - 

Protesters demanding an British government investigation into the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were successful today in handing their petition into the British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

The demo attracted quite a large crowd  including Burmese and Thai - although as usual only a selected few were allowed to approach the Prime Minister's London residence.

The petitioners had gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

In Bangkok Ambassador Mark Kent went to see the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission Board and was greeted by media activist Supinya Klanarong, not a woman who is shy to call a spade or spade.

Last week Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire summonsed the Thai Charge d'Affairs to express concern at the Thai police investigation.

From The Nation

The Ambassador's visit was more diplomatic and of course the London protesters cared less about the Thai media than what the police were telling the Thai media.



The Petition


To: David Cameron, Prime Minister

of The United Kingdom The Government, UK Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent.

Independently investigate The horrific murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller. On September 15th, 2 innocent British Citizens - David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23 were Found raped and murdered in The Most horrific Manner Possible whilst on Holiday in Thailand on The Island. of Koh Tao.

The Thai police's flawed handling of this crime has been a grave cause of concern from both the local and international community from the very start of the investigation.


The Thai authorities insensitive Obsession with Tourist figures and The Police's Notoriously Corrupt reputation Around The World, has been in The Forefront of these Concerns.

From a completely Destroyed Crime Scene, Racial slurs and Finger Pointing against Foreigners, Victim blaming from The General turned Prime Minister. , police posting pictures of the dead victims bodies on their FB accounts (with no regard for the victims friends and families), countless releases of unnecessary and highly conflicting pieces of information / evidence to the media, reports of investigators beating and offering bribes to false.

Witnesses (and then being allowed to Still Work on The Case), reports of torturing of Suspects, meeting and insensitive Re-enactments of The Crime, and The Well Known Fact that Citizens of Myanmar are The Usual Choice of scapegoats in Thailand. The International and local community are now not able to trust that the two Myanmar nationals, Win and Saw, have not had their confessions forced out of them or that evidence against them has not been tampered with. As such we can not also trust that they are responsible.

This being said, we demand a full independent investigation to be conducted by the government of the United Kingdom into these deaths. This is in the hope that the families of these victims may know justice has been served, and that the deaths of two more possible innocents might be avoided. 
#DrewNoyes #BrianGoudie #DavidHanks

FOOTNOTE: After the protest Thai authorities allowed British detectives to fly out. However this appeared to have already agreed at a meeting with General Prayuth Chan-Ocha and David Cameron and the European Asean summit in Milan. Never the less this petition represent a significant part of the ongoing protest.
 
http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2014/10/koh-tao-murders-protesters-demand.html

Thursday, October 16, 2014
'KOH TAO MURDERS'
'LET BRITISH POLICE CHECK THE DNA'
'HOW COME POLICE DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE DRUGS'
'HOW CAN YOU SOLVE THE COUNTRY'S PROBLEMS IF YOU WON'T ACCEPT THE TRUTH AND END HYPOCRICY' 
Sondhi Limthongkul

A  TV review by 'The Weapon'.

For foreigners in Thailand who have not quite grasped the language a poster to this site and master of the photo shopped picture 'The Weapon' has provided a review of Sondhi Limthongkul's comments on his chat show last night on ASTV - which centred on the brutal murders of  Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao. It makes interesting reading.




Sondhi starts off with a general talk about the new Government and the job Prayuth is doing. He says as a career soldier Prayuth loves country his and King but like previous Governments he is acting like a bureaucrat when he tries to overly protect the Kingdom's reputation. 

He said the new guys in power are like all politicians is being only concerned with their own survival and interests. He says Thailand's international reputation will be 'bankrupt' if the tourist industry and the countries interests are put before justice. 

He then says it is clear other countries suspect scapegoats have been arrested. He uses the word พิรุธ or phi-rut to describe this Koh Tao case. This word means suspect, dubious, dodgy etc. He uses this word to describe what everyone is saying about the case. 
They get onto Koh Tao and the full moon parties with another guy saying everyone from blind Freddy to Dang the street dog knows these parties are where people go for drugs and sex. Sondhi then says world wide everybody knows this but if you ask the Thai police they just deny it. 
He then says if drugs are illegal in Thailand how is this then acceptable? It must be stopped or the parties shut down if the Government is fair dinkum about the rule of law. He then says Prayuth himself should go and ask the people on Phuket and Samui etc about this. The people will tell him if he asks. 
The whole talk he is intimating Prayuth is a bit naive about certain things and how the police abuse and profit from these things. (I think he is just watching his manners here, not wanting to be too critical of him) 
Drugs? Some mistake surely
They then move to a talk about social media and how the masses just don't accept what has gone on in this case. 
He says Scotland Yard should be invited into a joint investigation but Thailand doesn't allow this. 
He mentions the embassy was called in London for a 'please explain' and says that is not normal unless there is great concern about the case. 
They then get onto the fact social media is accusing the son of a local influential figure but it is not only farangs who suspect him, Thais do as well as shown by what is going on on Facebook etc. 
Sondhi then starts to fire up about the Thai police saying he has first hand experience about how crooked they can be, he mentions the Sherry Duncan case claiming the police paid fake witnesses to give bogus evidence.
The other guys chime in with the Saudi diamond case as another example.
He then goes on how this 'top down' system of the police must be reformed and a new way of doing things must be developed. He says he doesn't want to talk too much about this as he will be accused of 'not loving his country.' He then says how the hell can you solve the countries problems if you cannot accept the truth? If you close your eyes and don't accept what is true, how can you fix any problem?
Sondhi
They then say the DSI should be called immediately for a case involving a crime of national importance like this. Just like the FBI investigates federal crimes in America. Then there is a brief conversation about the politics of the police in Thailand and how there have been zero reform so far from the new Government. 
They then talk about this and how even if somebody offers suggestions about reform they are ignored and things continue as before. When he taps the table Sondhi says all Thai Governments are only interested in two things, their own survival and looking good. He says wait and see if Prayuth and the rest of them don't do exactly that. 
Then follows a long political discussion that leads into them saying Pornthip is enemy of the police but that is actually good as it provides a system of checks and balances. They then say this is important to check the 'chain of evidence' from the so called offender right up to when it's presented in court. The taking of DNA must be clean and protected through it's journey through the system. They agree this just doesn't happen in Thailand. The police take the DNA sample and send it to the lab but nobody knows what happens in between. 
They finish by saying nobody should be scared to let somebody else check the DNA, don't be afraid, just let the truth come out. He says tourism has dropped 19% and Thailand's reputation is tied to tourism. They say it is fellows Asians who are scared to come to Thailand not Europeans. 
Sondhi closes by saying crimes against farangs are nothing new but there hasn't been such a serious case as the one in Koh Tao. In the past suspects have been caught but this case has left people totally suspicious.

Footnote:  There have been very serious cases of foreigners murdered. Protest has been more muted in the past because now everyone was internet savvy. 

http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2014/10/the-koh-tao-murders-how-can-country.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

KOH TAO MURDERS: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO SUMMONS OFFICERS ON THE GROUND


Porntip
Senior police officers involved in the Koh Tao murder investigation today appeared before a board of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand to answer allegations about the torture of Burmese migrant workers and suspects.

The HRC has now it says received 'credible information' on torture and next Monday will call officers who were working on the ground to give evidence.

Nirun
Present at the meeting today was Dr. Porntip Rojanansunam, Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, and Nirun Pitakwatchara, Human Rights Commissioner for Thailand.

Among those questioned was Police Colonel Prachuam Ruangtong, Superintendent of Koh Phangan Police station.

Dr.Porntip has already been critical of the police investigation into the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, and the double rape of Hannah saying the investigation was destroyed on the first day.

Suspect Win Zaw  Htun with cuddly bird won at a fair
 - The face of a killer?
The crime scene was interfered with. Potential suspects were allowed to trample over the site, and police failed to bring in an independent forensic pathologist.

It was vital and in the interests of justice that this work was done independently of police. But in this case police had retained control over all aspects of the case.

So far allegations of torture have included beatings by the police and interpreter of the suspects, the pouring of scalding water over other Burmese migrant workers, allegations that police stood on the arms and legs of Ko Ko Maung (the third man now released) while another jumped up and down on his chest,  and allegations by a taxi driver who said he was beaten then offered the equivalent 700,000 Thai baht (US$21,657) to implicate members of a football team.

The latest allegations also suggested the use of plastic bags for suffocation.

While Thai authorities are having trouble getting people to believe they have arrested the right people for the murders, reports are coming in from Koh Samui that visitors attempting meet with 21-year-olds Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin or just bring them food are being intimidated and having their details transmitted back to authorities on Koh Tao adding to a climate of fear.

All visits are being refused except for by lawyers.



************************

COMMENT: This site is still getting bombarded with private messages declaring the innocence of the two young Burmese and naming the alleged real Thai killers, a few letters relate to an alleged argument Hannah is said to have had in a local bar with David going to her aid.

All I can suggest to these people is in that case take the alleged killers' DNA. It's your choice.

Save it for a rainy day or if you really believe you have something send it with your contact details to ‘Real Killer’s DNA’, Crime Liaison Office, British Embassy, or Myanmar Embassy naming the person and how the DNA was taken.

Amateur sleuths
But first, for a commercial price, not expensive, you can even get a DNA profile from various labs in Thailand. It works. I’ve done it. The Embassies I am sure would appreciate the extra effort as I am sure they will not thank me for for the scores of cigarette butts or chewed gum and used hankies, beer glasses, blocking up their entrances.

None of this would of course be valid in a court of law. But it cleared up some doubts I had in the past on another murder. Proper tests can be legally applied for.

And you won't be the first to do some amateur sleuthing and you don't need to threaten to hang the victim from a tree up a hill.

British police have in the past requested Thai police to DNA test a potential suspect. It was a very long operation.

People of course have the right not to submit themselves for DNA testing without due cause, that is of course excepting Burmese migrant workers.


******************************


Help send killers to firing squad?


COMMENT: Meanwhile the Thai authorities have apparently invited the parents of David and Hannah to join in the prosecution.  The offer comes from prosecutor Thawachai Siangjaew reported in the Mail on Sunday.

It’s all a bit meaningless but The Daily Star takes it one step further with the headline ‘Help us send killers to firing squad say family of murdered backpackers’.

Ignoring the fact that Thailand does not execute by firing squad, and when it did the squad was just one man, who shot the victim in the back,  I’m guessing that should read ‘say families of murdered backpackers’ or ‘says family of murdered backpacker’.


But in fact neither of the families have said such a thing at all. And it certainly does not look like they will join the prosecution of these two young Burmese – not until the British police report. They have merely stated: “We hope the right people are found and brought to justice”.

But they could take advantage of this to give them rights to what the prosecution has.

When Vanessa Arscott and Adam Lloyd were murdered by a policeman in Kanchanaburi their parents' entered a joint prosecution. The purpose of that was to ensure that the prosecution went ahead in an honest manner as the the murderer Somchai Wisetsingh was a man of influence and had been Kanchanaburi's ' Policeman of the Year'.

And ignore the debate about how much investigating British police will be able to do. The answer to that has always been ‘none’.  It’s what they find out about what has already been done which is the key factor and what they bring to the table.

http://www.andrew-drummond.com/2014/10/help-us-send-killers-to-firing-squad.html

NHRC finds Koh Tao abuse 'likely'

Posted by Arakan Indobhasa 0 comments

Two suspects who allegedly confessed to the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao last month were showing signs of possible physical abuse, according to Thailand's human rights commission, a source said Monday. 
Two Myanmar suspects in the Koh Tao murder case were showing signs of possible physical abuse, a National Human Rights Commission source said Monday. (Bangkok Post photo)
An investigation led by the National Human Rights Commission found Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun were exhibiting pains consistent with internal injuries, a source close to the commission said, requesting anonymity. Another source said the two likely were suffocated with plastic bags and have marks on their bodies indicating physical abuse.
Police said the two earlier confessed to the murders of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, Sept 15 before recanting and alleging that they had been physically abused and threatened by police.
The NHRC now plans to ask authorities to hand over the suspects for a full check-up to determine the cause of the apparent injuries, the source said.
Also on Monday, migrant-rights activists visited both Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, getting to speak to them in Myanmar and English.
Activist Andy Hall of the Migrant Workers Rights Network tweeted following the visit that both said "their treatment was fine, they experienced no problems inside the prison but said were obviously unhappy in the prison."
Hall continued that both "seemed in good health, did not appear stressed or worried about anything," adding they were having some "difficulty with wearing chains on feet."
British police officers were due to travel to Thailand to assist - or only observe, according to Thai officials -- amid concerns expressed by British officials that best-practice procedures be applied at every step of the police inquiry.
Thailand's police chief said he welcomed British representatives as "observers" of the island murder investigation. The investigation was "transparent and follows the guidance of the constitution," Gen Somyot Poompanmuang told reporters.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha last week objected to inviting British investigators, but apparently changed his position after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Asia-Europe summit in Italy on Friday.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/438590/suspects-in-brit-murders-possibly-abused-thai-rights-group-finds

The big issue: Our man in Milan

Posted by Arakan Indobhasa Sunday, October 19, 2014 0 comments

The spotlight fell even more strongly on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last week. And no one, not the most vengeful anti-coup opponent, seemed to feel worse about the constant attention than the man himself. 
He flew off to the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Italy, and after a very quick freshening up in his five-star RosaGrand suite, was ready to present a tale of woe to Team Thailand — regional diplomats and businessmen who also followed the trail to the Capital of the Western Roman Empire. It was not a pleasant introduction.
To start it off, the new prime minister had a flat statement. "I have no happiness." His version of recent events has been told frequently, but the Milan group heard the sad version. In order for happiness to return to Thailand, "I have to suffer."
Gen Prayut obviously wanted the remarks to be spread. His staff translated them and handed them out to the entire press contingent at Milan, hundreds of them.
In his telling of current affairs of the government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), every detail is something of a battle. As a military man, he can give orders — and frequently has to. "Every day I have to fight," he said. "When I get home, I have an argument with my wife."
Gen Prayut has dragged his domestic problems into previous addresses, most notably in one of his Friday night TV monologues last month. But the Wednesday evening speech to Team Thailand was remarkable for its revealed personal insight. He said he led a coup and holds power merely because he is a patriot.
"I don't want to stay longer than I expect for even one day," he said, according to the official translation. Reporters were not allowed into the speech itself.
Once he arrived in Milan, Gen Prayut focused on his diplomatic agenda. European counterparts refused to meet him or talk with him, but on the sidelines of the summit he held showy, much-photographed talks with the prime ministers of Cambodia, China and Japan. The latter meeting showed the big problem with being the head of a junta in 2014. Thai spokesmen claimed to the Thai media at great length that Shinzo Abe “praised” the premier’s plans for national reform. Japanese spokesmen told the Japanese media that Mr Abe had urged Gen Prayut to get the country back on a democratic footing faster.
Tokyo's version of the meeting had Mr Abe telling Gen Prayut that Japanese businesses and the government believe massive investment would be at risk unless democracy were restored quickly, in order to eliminate the risk of political instability.
As promised, Thai activists and exiles turned out with foreign friends to “greet” Gen Prayut with signs that represented him as Big Brother from Nineteen Eighty Four, saying, “Prayuth, you do not represent Thai people.”
But Milan is also the home town of the late Fabio Polenghi, the Italian photographer gunned down in May 2010 during the street fighting. The Criminal Court said soldier killed him. Polenghi's sister Arianna had the harshest words heard against Gen Prayut since May 22: “an assassin who, along with others, ordered the execution of my beloved brother Fabio”.
Everyone cuts a bereaved family member a little slack. But Ms Polenghi’s grief was a reminder that there has not been even a serious attempt to demand accounting for the hundred deaths and great violence of 2010.
Gen Prayut has been everywhere, and last week was particularly frantic. He got involved in the Koh Tao murders, the self-immolation of the loan shark victim, problems with pharmacists and farmers and a stern reporter. And, of course, there was his first gentle letdown of 65 million people who were hoping for a peaceful end to the military regime next October.
The general has been described more and more in the foreign press as “unsmiling”. It seems there are many reasons for that.
http://bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/438394

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has denied media reports that he will allow British police to participate in the investigation into the murder of two UK tourists on Koh Tao last month.      
Speaking at Suvarnabhumi airport after returning from the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) in Milan, Gen Prayut said the British government will send a team of observers to follow progress in the investigation into the murders.
Media including the BBC and the Telegraph reported on Saturday that British investigators will arrive in Thailand tohelp with the case after Gen Prayut met Prime Minister David Cameron at the Asem summit. 
The reports said the agreement was made after Mr Cameron managed to persuade Gen Prayut to allow British police to help with the investigation.
The reports also said British police will look into two areas of concern.
One is the independent verification of the DNA samples of the suspects and the other is the investigation into allegations of mistreatment of the suspects.
The UK Foreign Office summoned the Thai charge d'affaires last week to express concern about the investigation.
Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun were charged with the murder of David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, after their bodies were found on Koh Tao on Sept 15.
Thai police have said the two suspects confessed to the crime and their DNA matched samples taken from Witheridge's body, but there have been accusations that the men were tortured — something Thailand strongly denies.
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
Gen Prayut said on Saturday he discussed the murder case with Mr Cameron during the Asem meeting.
"I sat near the British Prime Minister. He asked me to take care of the Koh Tao case. I answered his questions and he was satisfied," he said.
He added that Thai authorities have answered all the questions raised by media and concerned parties over the investigation.
According to Gen Prayut, Mr Cameron told him that his government had no problem with the Thai judicial process, although British people who follow media reports had questions.
"They will send observers. Currently, there are also some observers from the British embassy," Gen Prayut said.
His British counterpart asked him to prevent similar tragedies because Britons loved to visit Thailand, Gen Prayut said.
Gen Prayut also countered reports and photos of protests against him while he attended the Asem meeting in Milan. He said he did not see any protests at the meeting.
"Such pictures could be taken anywhere and posted [on social media]. I don't know where the protests took place, but I didn't see them. They might have held up the placards outside their houses and taken photos," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who is in charge of national security, also confirmed that British police will come only as observers and "they will not get involved in the investigation".
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee yesterday brushed aside an online petition urging the UK government to independently investigate the Koh Tao murders.
He said that although such a petition is allowed under British law, it will not affect the investigation by Thai police as the judicial processes of the two countries are entirely independent of each other.
The petition, launched on Oct 4 on Change.org, passed the 100,000 signature mark on Friday. British law stipulates that an e-petition with at least 100,000 signatures can be debated in the House of Commons. 
Nakhon Chompuchart, a human rights lawyer from the Lawyers Council of Thailand, said the council is expected tomorrow to appoint him as an adviser to a team representing the two suspects.
He said he will visit the suspects at the Koh Samui prison.
Although they have reportedly confessed to the crime, they had the right to retract the statements when they go to court, Mr Nakhon said.
 
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/438336/

Ancient Arakan Gold and Sliver Coins

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