I started my working life as a journalist, so I know that in Australia if 12km of a popular tourist beach was chemically polluted by oil tankers flushing their bilges and tanks at sea, there would be all hell to pay.
Locals would be the first to raise the alarm followed by screaming headlines across all media and calls from environmental and eco-groups to hunt down the perpetrators. This would soon escalate into a political issue with opposing pollies blaming each other for the mess.
But this pollution is happening in Thailand right now, and not a one-off one-day accident. It has been going on at Rayong’s Mae Ram Phueng beach every day for nearly a month now. Each day a fresh wave of chemical scum is washed up onto the beach, gathering in deep stinking pools and drying to stain the sand a nasty shade of green.
And apart from a letter I wrote to The Nation three weeks ago, not a word of protest. Not a hand put up to say, “What is going on here?” Not a word in the newspapers, television or radio. The silence is deafening.
Shame, Thailand. Shame.