Sex tourism comments attributed to Gambia’s minister of tourism and culture back in January 2018 has sparked a diplomatic row with Thailand.
According to the Khaosodenglish new portal, the Thai embassy has handed a formal request to the Gambian government after its minister, Hamat Bah, suggested that sex tourists should head to Thailand because Gambia would not welcome them.
A foreign affairs spokeswoman, Makawadee Sumitmor confirmed that Thai diplomats in Senegal, who had jurisdiction for The Gambia filed the letter of displeasure whiles a similar letter was sent to the Gambian embassy in Malaysia, which also serves Thailand.
We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination.
“We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination. We are not, we are not and please every Gambian must sing that song,” Bah said in an interview in January.
His position gained currency recently after an online new agency republished his view attracting the attention of the Thai authorities after it went viral on the country’s social media space.
Thai Culture minister Veera Rojpojchanarat is on record to have said that sex tourism used to be prevalent but has since dropped because of the country’s focus on “morality.”
“Thailand has improved a lot in this issue. After the Ministry of Culture worked on promoting morality, this issue has improved a lot,” Veera told reporters on Tuesday.
For those interested – and since nobody went looking for the original source – the Gambian Tourism Minister (AND Culture, as he insisted during that interview) made those comments on a state TV show back in January (around the 1:06:00 mark). https://t.co/Me0fkLVDuL— Saksith Saiyasombut (@SaksithCNA) February 27, 2018