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Crackdown ordered on religious tattoos in Phuket


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Crackdown ordered on religious tattoos in Phuket

 

Culture Ministry has attacked the growing trend for tourists

 

PHUKET: The Culture Ministry has attacked the growing trend for tourists in Phuket and other parts of Thailand to have religious images tattooed on their bodies.

 

It has ordered provincial governors across the country, including Phuket, to crack down on such tattoos, igniting a debate on the human rights implications of forbidding the practice.

 

Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat told told reporters Monday that Phuket's Culture Office had uncovered an “alarming trend": tourists have images such as those of the Buddha, Ganesh and Jesus Christ tattooed on their arms, legs and ankles.

 

It is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion, Mr Niphit said.

 

But the ministry is likely to face an uphill battle to end the practice. The service is highly popular and tattooists can charge extra for such work, with some jobs costing upwards of 20,000 baht.

 

Mr Niphit downplayed the likelihood that the tattoos could be a genuine expression of spiritual belief.

 

The tattoos were just part of a fashion trend among tourists, who most likely did not believe in the religion and were ignorant of the true significance of the image.

 

As a result, Mr Niphit said the ministry's Subcommittee on Safe and Creative Media had decided to order the governors of all Thai provinces to ban foreigners from getting tattoos of religious images of any faith.

 

Governors would be asked to convene meetings of those involved in the industry to ask for their cooperation, he said.

 

“At the meeting, we noted that these tattoos were all over the country, in particular in tourist destinations such as Khao San Road, Tawanna and Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket,” he said.

 

“We have to help prevent images that are respected in various religions from being tattooed onto the body.”

 

People with visible religious tattoos who engaged in “bad behavior” such as “sitting drinking alcohol and arguing” would damage the faiths through association, Mr Niphit said.

 

Acknowledging that Thai law did not prevent people from getting such tattoos, he said the ministry needed to coordinate with relevant agencies to draft measures to prevent the practice.

 

He would also propose to the National Culture Committee that a law be drafted that forbade the use of religious symbols for commercial purposes. The law, if passed, would affect both those who offered and used such services.

 

Ladda Tangsupachai, director of the ministry's Cultural Surveillance Center, warned that if “people who showed their bodies for a living” such as “prostitutes” and “go-go dancers” had such tattoos, it would erode respect for religion.

 

But Human Rights Commissioner Wasan Panich pointed out that while Thai law prevented people from violating the Thai flag and other national icons, there were no such laws concerning religious symbols.

 

Any law banning the use of such images for commercial purposes must not violate people's rights, because the term “commercial” had a broad meaning, he said.

 

“If people have Buddha images tattooed on their body, on their arms or chest for example, you can't forbid that because it's not insulting,” he said.

 

“Anyone can get these tattoos because it's their right to do that to their own body.”

 

But, he added, if people had such images tattooed to their ankles or “inappropriate organs”, it could be seen as insulting to religion.

 

“For example, if a foreigner got a tattoo of the Buddha on their ankle, Buddhists would see that as insulting to their religion,” he said.

 

“But if a foreigner gets a cross on their ankle, Buddhists probably wouldn't think anything of it, but other foreigners might not be satisfied.”

 

“Because of that, the basic principle is that you must respect the rights of the individual, but you must not violate the rights or beliefs of others,” he added.

 

Report and pic from Phuket Gazette

Wednesday, June 1, 2011,16:58 local time (GMT +7)

Edited by Benny10

BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110602/ap_tr_ge/as_travel_brief_thailand_tattoo_taboo

 

capt.7b36d3f68ff64fab92474a14160aabc5-7b36d3f68ff64fab92474a14160aabc5-0.jpg?x=213&y=142&xc=1&yc=1&wc=410&hc=273&q=85&sig=7cxotmmZFu0ZmfTYEYOfAg--

In this March 19, 2011 photo, a foreign tourist has his tattoos admired during a tattoo festival at Wat Bang Pra in Nakhon Chaisi, Thailand. Thailand's Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat has announced that foreign tourist should be banned from getting religious tattoos while visiting Thailand, saying the practice is culturally insensitive. 'Foreigners see these tattoos as a fashion,' Niphit said in the statement posted on his ministry's website Thursday, June 2, 2011. 'They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware' that it can be offensive. As of yet the practice is still not illegal under Thai law.

 

BANGKOK – Thailand's Culture Ministry says foreign tourists should be barred from getting Buddhist tattoos while visiting because the practice is culturally insensitive.

 

Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said in a statement that his ministry has been receiving complaints from residents that tattoo parlors are etching sacred images of Buddha and other religious images onto the skin of non-Buddhist visitors across the country.

 

"Foreigners see these tattoos as a fashion," Niphit said in the statement posted on his ministry's website Thursday. "They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware" that it can be offensive.

Thailand is mostly Buddhist, and Buddha statues and images here are considered sacred objects of worship. Millions of foreigners visit the Southeast Asian nation annually.

 

Niphit said his ministry had called on tattoo parlors nationwide to halt the activity. According to the country's government news agency, NNT, he also asked provincial governors to "inspect tattoo studios and seek their cooperation."

NNT also reported that Niphit is pushing for a law banning the practice.

 

However, Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the ministry's Cultural Surveillance Center, said Thursday that tattooing religious images is not yet illegal under Thai law.

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I'm interested to see how this plays out. Free expression vs 'freedom' from witnessing someone else's 'offensive' actions.

 

I'm guessing nothing really happens, it seems it would be terribly hard to enforce.

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This particularly xenophobic politicians next step would be to organise for Thailand to leave the United Nations.

 

Article 18 of the Universal Decleration of Human Rights.

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

 

I think this guy needs to chill and lay off the Thai whiskey as this is ridiculously unenforcable.

What are they going to do... have the BIB inspecting tattoo artists clients, inspect every tourist that comes through customs for a Buddha tattoo. :)

Edited by Temujin

"When the going gets weird... the weird turn pro" - Hunter S. Thompson

 

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I think this guy needs to chill and lay off the Thai whiskey as this is ridiculously unenforcable.

What are they going to do... have the BIB inspecting tattoo artists clients, inspect every tourist that comes through customs for a Buddha tattoo. :)

 

Yep, blaming foreigners for the lack of moral seems to be a familiar pattern.

 

A couple of years ago a minister accused foreigners to introduce AIDS to LOS.

Of course, thousands of Thai brothels and tee houses were absolutely free of STDs until foreigners entered the scene.

Edited by Benny10

BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.

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Take a chill pill. Worrying about tattos even talking about banning farangs to get them is just typical Thai goverment morale. We remember the chock of the bare boobs during songcran where some poor girls was dragged trough the mud , the goverment was afraid that such an act was was going to ruin the countries reputation ??.

 

And yes im wearing my religious tattoo with pride

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110602/ap_tr_ge/as_travel_brief_thailand_tattoo_taboo

Edited by duffMaster
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Take a chill pill. Worrying about tattos even talking about banning farangs to get them is just typical Thai goverment morale. We remember the chock of the bare boobs during songcran where some poor girls was dragged to the mud , the goverment was afraid that such an act was was going to ruin the countries reputation!.

 

And yes im wearing my religious tattoo with pride

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110602/ap_tr_ge/as_travel_brief_thailand_tattoo_taboo

Edited by duffMaster
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Crackdown ordered on religious tattoos

 

:Grin_Jump1:

 

 

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This reminds me of the other thread about 'cracking down' on the ladies holding signs outside bars on Walking Street. Some politician claimed that people were complaining about it. So now with this tattoo issue, again we have a politician claiming that people were complaining about it.

 

What is this, some kind of a joke? All of a sudden, now some mysterious group of people are complaining about these things? As one of the article touches upon, some of these tattoo artists can charge primo dollars for these religious tattoos on foreigners. You think they want to give up that cash cow, anymore that bar owners on Walking Street want to give up theirs?

 

Sounds like a bunch of false grandstanding by some politicians to me.

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Thai logic at its best....lol

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My moto for 2017: Don't argue with an idiot. Don't argue with.....

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"Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat told told reporters Monday that Phuket's Culture Office had uncovered an “alarming trend": tourists have images such as those of the Buddha, Ganesh and Jesus Christ tattooed on their arms, legs and ankles.

 

It is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion, Mr Niphit said."

 

 

how is it culturally inappropriate exactly ? Tattoos are probably just as old as the religions they sometimes represent.. And someone tattoing a buddha ( for example ) might not be a buddhist, but if he wanted this tattoo, it's because somewhere it does have some respect for this icon or has something in his life that does relate to it..

 

yes, Thai logic at its best !! :)

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"Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat told told reporters Monday that Phuket's Culture Office had uncovered an “alarming trend": tourists have images such as those of the Buddha, Ganesh and Jesus Christ tattooed on their arms, legs and ankles.

 

It is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion, Mr Niphit said."

 

 

how is it culturally inappropriate exactly ? Tattoos are probably just as old as the religions they sometimes represent.. And someone tattoing a buddha ( for example ) might not be a buddhist, but if he wanted this tattoo, it's because somewhere it does have some respect for this icon or has something in his life that does relate to it..

 

yes, Thai logic at its best !! :)

 

In my opinion they more have to think about the really big problems in their country and

not for this.That will make a sense,but thai logic is verry different to ours.Cheers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thailand is doing everything in their power to stop tourist coming to their country.

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