December 16, 2017 / 10:09 AM / 9 months ago

Thai tour guide arrested for inappropriate behavior at Buddhist temple

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities have arrested a local tour guide for indecent behavior at a temple after she posted a photograph online that showed her standing on a pagoda, police said on Saturday.

The arrest came as photographs of Naranon Narakamin 44 circulated on social media earlier in the week, including one that showed her standing behind a tourist with one of her foot placed on a pagoda at Bangkok’s iconic Temple of Dawn.

It is unclear when the photograph of Naranon was taken but it has outraged many conservatives who say her behavior was disrespectful to Buddhism.

Tourist Police Deputy commissioner Police Major General Surachet Hakpal told a press conference on Saturday that the tour guide has exhibited “inappropriate behavior at a Buddhist temple,” and set a bad example for Thais and foreign tourists.

Naranon, who has publicly apologized for her action, will be charged with breaching the national archaeological site act and could face up to one month jail term and a fine of up to 10,000 baht ($307.50), the police said.

In Thailand, using feet to point at people or objects, particularly sacred objects is considered very rude. Revealing clothing and inappropriate action at places of worship is also considered offensive in the predominantly Buddhist country.

Last month two American tourists were arrested and fined for public indecency after posing for a “butt selfie” at a temple in Bangkok.

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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