We met Ulrich Morgentaler on the island of Ko S. in October 2016.
Can’t forget the date in view of what happened.
We went there for the same reason as him: because we were interested in finding an island which was undeveloped – a tall order in Thailand. We became interested in Ko S. when we found out that it wasn’t easy to reach in comparison with other Thai islands, most of which were linked by regular ferry services.
The only way to get to Ko S. was on a long tail departing from a small fishing village on the mainland and it wasn’t always an easy trip…….
One night, near the end of a journey in the south of Thailand, I ran into trouble.
For the previous weeks, my partner and I had been out on a remote island, where there was no tourist infrastructure – and no internet. We were disconnected from the outside world. No social media, no news.
Then at the end of a long boat trip, we found ourselves back on the mainland.
Back in ´civilisation´.
Cruising the electronic world in the privacy of my air conditioned room, I came across a report concerning three Thais political activists who been found murdered on the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. Their bodies had been hideously mutilated.
This was a political crime.
It was a hate crime.
And it wasn’t too difficult to work out who was responsible for it: the Thai military, which ruled Thailand with an iron fist – in collusion with the Thai King. A cosy arrangement which had long defined the political landscape of Thailand.
Thanks to this snippet of news, I found myself dwelling on this brutal reality.