2 women charged for performing 'insulting' sexy dance at Thai temple

2 women charged for performing 'insulting' sexy dance at Thai temple
OUTRAGE: The video of the two women dancing at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in the city of Ayutthaya, which is about 60km north of Bangkok.
PHOTO: Youtube screengrab

Two Thai women who performed a racy dance at the historic temple Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya face charges of violating ancient monuments legislation.

The five-minute video clip drew the wrath of netizens and the authorities when it was first posted on YouTube on Aug 5. The video has since been labelled "private".

Ms Thannicha Nampanya, 27, and Ms Nitikarn Chotthanapongsathit, 30, turned themselves in at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district police on Saturday, reported Bangkok Post.

The temple is part of a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site.

The two women have been charged with violating a section of the Ancient Monuments, Antiquities and National Museums Act for actions deemed to cause damage to morals or insult to religion and culture, and for actions that jeopardise peace and order in public areas.

The offences carry a jail term of up to one month and/or a fine of 10,000 baht (S$400), said police.

Mr Pratheep Phengtako, director of the Fine Arts Office Region 3 in Ayutthaya, said a complaint would be filed against the two women and their accomplice who recorded the dance.

Their clothing and "sensuous dance" were inappropriate, he told the Bangkok Post.

A souvenir vendor at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Madam Pranee Thareejian, 61, said she saw the two women and a man enter the temple in June.

She said the man took many photos of the women in sexy poses.

The trio then walked inside the compound and stopped near a wall of the temple. The women then danced and the man recorded the show, the vendor said.

Ms Thannicha and Ms Nitikarn apologised to the public and Ayutthaya residents for their actions, saying they were just having fun and were not aware of the consequences, reported the Bangkok Post.

Ms Nithikan said they decided to dance for fun and recorded the clip on her mobile phone.

She added that she did not send the clip to anyone, but stored it in certain applications before it went viral, reported The Nation.

Thai police said the two will be granted bail but will have to report to court today. They will then be escorted to the temple to perform an apology ritual.

This article was first published on August 10, 2015.
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