Temple warden used the temple area for Chinese tours, says Nongprue Mayor
The temple warden who was allegedly hit by the Nongprue Mayor used the temple area to support Chinese tour groups, the Nongprue mayor has responded in an interview to the local press.
A warden of Boon Sampan Temple, Wanchai Sanengam, has reported to local police after he was allegedly hit by the Nongprue mayor this week in public and caught on camera. The video went viral on Thai social media. Mr. Sanengam denies, however, releasing the video.
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Nongprue Mayor Mine Chaiyanit has responded to the incident. He said Mr Wanchai is the temple warden and also a member of the Nongprue Municipality council.
Mr. Wanchai and Chinese business owners are renting the temple area for tour businesses, according to the Mayor.
The annual temple festival was not held last year. This is because if they held the festival for a week, Chinese tour groups would be unable to come to the temple. This upset local residents and Buddhists.
On the day of the alleged incident Mr. Wanchai had allegedly asked to start the Buddhist day ceremonies early to quickly complete the activities as Chinese tour buses were waiting outside the temple. This allegedly upset residents who complained to the Mayor.
The Mayir asked Mr. Wanchai if he is more important than the temple Abbot in terms of making decisions on ending ceremonies early. Mr Wancahi, according to the Mayor, said he can order around who he wishes.
The mayor said he had a lot of pressure on the issue and admitted he should have controlled his temper better. However, he stated that pushing local temple goers out for Chinese tourists was unacceptable.
The police investigation continues.