The world is sending billions in aid through official
governments, industry, and private donations ...
and THIS is going on? I saw it on the news, then
heard nothing until I came across this article.
On the TV news they showed beaches near the ones
that were wiped out. People playing in the sand and
suntanning, drinking beer .... etc. etc.
The TV news also said that relief supplies and money
are having a difficult time getting in because of
rebels (terrorists) putting up illegal check points and
they are shaking down aid workers and stealing
$$$ and emergency supplies.
WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON OVER THERE?
N.Y. Daily News
Ghouls rush in
On Phuket, disaster's just an inconvenience to rich who gripe about views, bubbly
BY RAFAEL D. FRANKEL
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS
December 31, 2004
PHUKET, Thailand - While volunteers struggled to collect bodies washing up on the once-pristine beaches of this upscale resort isle, ghoulish tourists
rolled out their towels yesterday, doffed their bikini tops and vacationed like nothing had happened.
On Patong Beach and Kata Beach - where hundreds died or disappeared four days ago - the smell of suntan lotion wafted from the shore as a new influx
of tourists determinedly ignored the carnage around them, frolicking in the surf or reading under umbrellas.
An indignant Russian who arrived at the Novotel Phuket Resort on the day after the tsunami loudly complained that there was no champagne reception.
Other guests have pestered the hotel's grieving staff with complaints that their rooms lack good views.
Belgian tourist Desmet Romain, 42, questioned whether he should have stayed on despite all the death and misery.
But the prospect of missing the New Year's beach holiday he had been looking forward to all year was too much to bear.
"I didn't want to go back to Belgium where it is so cold," Romain said. "And in this hotel, it's like everything is totally normal."
Some Thais are amazed that the foreigners can be so insensitive to be sipping cocktails poolside while surrounded by death and grief.
"I think the people are good, but I don't know why they stay here now when we are so sad," a waiter at the Novotel said, asking that his name not
be reported out of fear of losing his job.
As bodies continue to wash up on Phuket's shores and are stacked in makeshift morgues, the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket is erecting big tents,
installing cotton candy machines and bringing in caged animals in preparation for the gala New Year's Eve circus party it promised.
"We do want to keep it a happy theme," Sheraton marketing communications manager Zahid Ali said. "Our guests came here during the holidays and they
do want to enjoy it."
But in a nod to the tragedy surrounding them, the Sheraton canceled its $2,500 fireworks display and will observe a moment of silence, Ali said.
N.Y. Daily News
[edit on 12/31/2004 by FlyersFan]