Ao Prao beach on the island of Koh Samet is the main impact zone of the 50,000 liters of oil (around 13,200 gallons) spilled during a faulty transfer operation between a tanker and a seabed pipeline on Saturday.
About 600 soldiers, volunteers and workers from PTT Global Chemical, the partially state-owned oil giant that has claimed responsibility for the spill, are involved in the cleanup.
A PTT spokesman says that 70% of the oil has been dealt with. The remaining crude will be “90% clear by Friday or Sunday at the latest.”
Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the Democrat Party and former Prime Minister of Thailand took the initiative to visit the island, landing on Ao Prao, the most severely affected beach on the island. He took the opportunity to criticise the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for being too slow in their response to the crisis. He further suggested that the government must work harder to convince the locals and tourists that the incident was being handled appropriately.
All this would have earned Khun Abhisit some political points, but a picture showing his landing on the island totally ruined things for the elitist Democrats.
Pictures really speak louder than words and I seriously think the Democrats need a better photographer/publicist. This may serve well as a cool Facebook update for ordinary folks like us, but for this situation, it’s just dumber than dumb.
This is how a Shinawatra would pose for a photo in times of crisis. It’s just a photo, but the effect on the populace is tremendous. The Democrats have a lot to learn.