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‘Mischievous’ Gambia jibe angers Thailand


Thailand has taken exception to a controversial comment by Gambia’s Tourism minister last month dismissing the Southeast Asian nation as an unparalleled sex haven for tourists.Tourism minister Hamat Bah told a weekly state television programme in January that tourists looking to come to his country for holiday sex are not welcome but should instead look to Thailand to indulge their untoward desires,

In a terse response on Monday, the Thai Foreign Affairs ministry protested formally to The Gambia High Commission in Malaysia and its diplomatic office in Senegal, indicating its profound displeasure over Bah’s dismissive swipe at Thailand’s supposed notoriety as a tourist destination.

Makawadee Sumitmor, a spokeswoman at the Foreign Affairs ministry in Bangkok said Bah’s statement was mischievous and misguided and demanded an apology from the government in Banjul.

The Gambia government has not commented.

The abrasive Bah had raised eyebrows when he told anchors of the local Kerr Fatou TV talk show in January: “We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination”.

Meanwhile, the Thai Culture minister Veera Rojpojchanarat claimed Thailand was improving its image in the tourism industry, where perverted sex incidences have dropped in recent years thanks to the country’s emphasis on morality.

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