Prawit under fire over remarks on Nairobi terrorist attack

Prawit under fire over remarks on Nairobi terrorist attack

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon talks to reporters at the Defence Ministry on Wednesday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon talks to reporters at the Defence Ministry on Wednesday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

Kenyan media have taken offence at Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon's remarks on the DusitD2 hotel attack in Nairobi, in which he joked about the terrorists' motive and suggested all that mattered was all Thais were safe.

On Wednesday the the website Kenyans.co.ke reported Gen Prawit's response to a reporter's question why the terror attack in Nairobi on Tuesday targeted a Thai-operated hotel. It described his comments as "insouciant".

The website said that when asked by a reporter why a Thai-operated hotel was attacked by terrorists, Gen Prawit responded, "I don’t know. Maybe because the food is delicious."

In an attack that left at least 14 people dead, the deputy leader also stated that it was 'good enough' that no Thais were killed and the Foreign Ministry was handling it, the report said.

The report drew many comments highly critical of Gen Prawit's attitude.

However, one viewer wrote that Gen Prawit might have been trying to tone down the issue.

A recording of the press conference shows Gen Prawit said it was 'okay' that no Thais died, not 'good enough' as in the Kenyan report.

Police in Kenya said on Thursday the confirmed death toll had climbed to 21, plus the five terrorists.

Last year Gen Prawit, also the defence minister, apologised for a similarly uncaring comment after the  tour boat Phoenix floundered and sank in a storm off Phuket in July and 47 Chinese tourists drowned. 

Gen Prawit blamed a particular Chinese tour operator for taking the people to sea despite weather warnings not to. Chinese social media bombarded him with criticism.


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