Two boats capsized in Thailand and over 40 people were reportedly dead but all the Thai deputy prime minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, could do was to blame the Chinese tour operators for not following “Thai safety legislation.”
People were infuriated with the Thai authority’s way of handling a twin-ferry accident that took place off a resort island of Phuket. Both the boats were carrying 120 people and most of them are still missing. The boats overturned and drowned in the island because of a huge storm.
Naturally, Chinese people who were worried for their loved ones were infuriated with the minister’s insensitive comments.
"This accident was entirely Chinese harming Chinese," Prawit told reporters in a video that is being widely circulated."The boats were theirs, and they ignored warnings and insisted on sailing out to sea. We weren't responsible for that -- they were. They have to resolve this themselves."
China Daily, the state-run newspaper said Prawit’s comments were “provocative and irresponsible."
Social media users cited witnesses on Chinese-micro blogging website, Weibo, claiming tourists weren’t warned officially in Phuket against sailing when the boat left port. According to reports, the Thai crew on the boats abandoned the passengers in the boat as soon as the water rushed in.
"Can China be so easily bullied now -- and Chinese lives be so carelessly trampled on?" one post read on Weibo. "I'm happy for the Thai soccer boys who were rescued, but I will never go visit that country again!"
Later, the controversial Thai deputy prime minister apologized. “If I said anything that upsets people, I apologise.” However, the damage had already been done. Many people on social media expressed they would never want to go back to Thailand, in fact calls for boycotting the country was also made.