In Memory of Ashton
Memorial held for British tourist slain in New year gunfight
Members of the tourism business community in Koh Pha-ngan wore black and held a ceremony in memory of Stephen Ashton, a British tourist fatally struck by a stray bullet during a New Year's countdown party on the island.The event was hosted by Taweesak Inprom, Pha-ngan district chief and joined by Neal Bambridge, the British Consular agent.
After laying a wreath, Taweesak said he was representing the people and businessmen in expressing their deepest condolences to the family of Ashton for their great loss. He promised to integrate all sectors in reviewing safety measures on the island and particularly to make the full moon parties free of drugs and weapons.
Speaking at the same event, Wannee Thaipanitch, chairwoman of Tourism Promotion Association of Koh Pha-ngan said the incident had affected both foreign and Thai tourists. However, with the arrest by police of a man for the shooting of Ashton and the promise by all agencies to review the safety system, a more positive view of the island was beginning to return.
The tourism entrepreneurs promised to strengthen and jointly oversee the safety measures, she said.
Ashton, 23, was killed when he was hit by a stray bullet during a gunfight at the New Year countdown party on Pha-ngan Island in Surat Thani. Police have arrested a Thai man, identified as Ekkapan Kaewkla, 26, for killing Ashton. He has been charged with murder and the illegal possession of a weapon.