Revellers yesterday ignored police threats to jail anyone for dirty dancing during Thailand’s Songkran new year festival as bikini clad young women took to the streets.
The annual event – which began as a Buddhist festival – sees mass water fights around the country while millions of tourists converge on major cities for booze-fulled parties.
Government officials desperate to protect the country’s image this year vowed to jail for up to five years anyone dressed or behaving ‘’provocatively’’ or posting the scenes online.
Here’s video of Songkran on Soi Cowboy…
‘’Claiming you don’t know about the law or do not have any illegal intention will not get you out of trouble.’’ tech crime spokesman Colonel Siriwat Deepor said.
Officers said they would patrol the streets and monitor the web. Offenders could face fines of up to 100,000 baht as well as jail terms of up to five years.
But despite the strict warnings, thousands of scantily clad young women in bikinis took to the streets in Bangkok during Songkran 2019 for raunchy water fights.
Here’s video of Songkran on Sukhumvit Soi 4, or Soi Nana…
Footage shows girls twerking, touching their breasts and spraying water guns provocatively while surrounded by tourists on the city’s bustling Sukhumvit Road area.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists watched the ”mass wet t-shirt competition”.
The raunchy scenes are in contrast to the cultural events organised by the government in which people wear tradition silk Thai costumes.
Colonel Siriwat said the attempted crackdown came as previous Songkran festivals often saw inappropriate photos of young women and ladyboys posted online.
He urged revellers to mark the Thai traditional New Year with polite cultural activities and refrain from any risky behaviour that could lead to violations of the Computer Act and related laws.
Colonel Siriwat said that officers would be searching online pictures or video clips of Songkran revellers wearing ‘’sexually-provocative clothing’’ and performing lewd behaviour.
Those captured by photographs or video clips could also be charged with performing a shameful act in public and be charged with violating the Computer Act and subjected to a maximum five-year jail term and or a maximum 100,000 baht (2,400GBP) fine.
He said: “Be warned that the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) officers are able to probe and to trace postings back to the culprits to face prosecutions, and the suspects cannot claim to not know the law or their action’s consequences or not having an illegal intention.’’
Siriwat said that other indecent posts or live streaming deemed against society’s good morality and the law could also face legal action.
Thailand celebrates Songkran, its traditional new year, from April 13 until businesses open again on April 17, during which time locals and revellers from around world visit to splash water on each other.
It began hundreds of years ago with natives sprinkling their respected elders other with water for good luck as they welcomed in the coming rainy season.
But in recent years it has developed into a major tourist attraction where mass water fights in the country’s major cities attract many holidaymakers and backpackers.