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Man seen swigging beer in Thai temple sparks outrage

Photographs of a man seen carrying and drinking beer at a temple in Thailand has caused panic and fury from locals.

The photographs, which surfaced at the same time as the sacred location was visited by the country’s Prime Minister, have also seen officials grilled over concerns about the country’s nonchalance towards its security.

The images, released by local press on Saturday, showed the man just metres away from security guards holding onto an open can of beer and carrying two more in a plastic bag at Chiang Mai’s Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple at the same time as the location received a visit from Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The situation, which has conjured panic and outrage across social media, clearly show the man drinking from cans on the grounds of the famous temple in Muang district – an act that is known to be illegal. However, what has additionally caused a stir seems to be how the behaviour is carried out in front of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards who appear to be unconcerned by the violation.

According to a temple source that spoke directly to the Bangkok Post, strict security is usually present, however it was scaled back on this occasion to make room for Chan-o-cha’s own personal security personnel.

The temple source admitted that a lapse in monitoring had become possible due to the special circumstances, but stated that in future stricter precautions would be taken. Additionally, vendors nearby would also be reminded that people visiting the temple are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages onto the grounds.

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