BANGKOK — It was showtime Thursday for the 12 boys and their 25-year outdated soccer coach, who shared their drama of being trapped for nearly three weeks in a flooded collapse northern Thailand at a public exhibition in one in every of Bangkok’s largest malls. The exhibition that includes members of the Wild Boars soccer group additionally reveals a replica of the cave with simulated sounds of water dripping. Tools utilized by rescuers and different memorabilia are on show.
Psychologists had recommended that the boys after their rescue in July needs to be given a six-month respite from being pressed to recount their expertise for the sake of their psychological well being. However Thailand’s navy authorities, desperate to share the glory of the good-news story, has trotted them out for public appearances and interviews.
Different efforts to advertise their story have included building of a museum and the anointing as a nationwide hero of a former Thai navy SEAL who died whereas diving within the cave delivering oxygen tanks.
One exception to the feel-good vibe has been an ongoing feud between tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and a British caving skilled, Vernon Unsworth, whose recommendation and expertise had been thought-about essential to the rescue operation.
Unsworth in an interview had criticized as showboating a well-publicized effort by Musk to lend a custom-built mini-submarine to the rescue effort, and Musk responded on Twitter with feedback strongly.
The matter was revived final week, with Musk — requested about the specter of a libel go well with —, suggesting in emails to the information web site BuzzFeed that Unsworth was a “little one rapist” and had moved to northern Thailand to take “a baby bride who was about 12 years outdated on the time.” He supplied no proof for his allegations.
Musk, whose seemingly erratic habits on different issues have drawn concern from traders, additionally in coarse phrases advised BuzzFeed that he hoped Unsworth sues him.
In Bangkok, deputy authorities spokesman Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, who has been organizing most of the occasions with the boys, responded with concern to Musk’s feedback highlighting Thailand as a vacation spot for intercourse vacationers.
“When there may be this type of notion we should not overlook it. This displays our picture, which we’ve got to repair. We cannot blame him and say ‘Oh, he stated all these unhealthy issues,'” he stated. “We should always take this info and use it to make adjustments.”
For the boys, largely youngsters, the Musk controversy will not be even a sideshow. They’re fastidiously guided by a Thai authorities committee set as much as management who has entry to the boys as they draw consideration from filmmakers and the media.
At the very least 5 of them at Thursday’s discussion board stated in roughly the identical phrases that “my life is identical, however extra individuals are approaching me.”
The boys have already detailed a lot of their journey in a information convention after they had been launched from hospital remark following their rescue, and in interviews with the U.S. tv community ABC.
In a panel dialogue moderated by Weerachon within the Siam Paragon mall on Thursday, they gave largely transient replies. Adul Sam-on admitted that the world they had been staying within the cave stank of urine — the matter of physique excretions had been a topic of a lot hypothesis on social media.
The boys appeared unaware of the federal government’s recommendation to keep away from speaking about their ordeal.
Adul stated he was shocked when he met officers equivalent to American diplomats, however was not requested about what occurred within the cave. He stated somebody later advised him that there was a ban on folks asking them questions on it.
His teammate Ekarat Wongsukchan stated he was additionally shocked why nobody requested him concerning the occasions within the cave. “I began to doubt whether or not I used to be additionally caught within the cave,” he stated.
The boys and their coach later Thursday had been scheduled to attend a authorities occasion dubbed “United as One,” a celebration with everybody concerned within the rescue operation at an out of doors discipline in Bangkok.
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