Thailand Coup
Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha apologises for his comments that beautiful women are not safe wearing bikinis. Reuters

Thailand's prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, has apologised for the hurt he caused after saying beautiful women in bikinis could jeopardise their safety when visiting his country.

Chan-ocha caused an international outcry with his comments following the recent murders of British backpackers David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, who were both bludgeoned to death while staying on the island of Koh Tao.

Chan-ocha is Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, which in May 2014 ousted the government through a coup. On 17 September he warned that there were always problems with tourist safety.

"They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere," adding "can they be safe in bikinis ... unless they are not beautiful?"

But on 18 September, at a press conference in Bankok, Chan-ocha issued a public apology for his actions.

"I'm sorry that it hurt people. I didn't intend to insult or criticize anyone. I just warned that sometimes people have to be careful ... today Thailand is safe except there are some bad guys — like anywhere in the world."