A Facebook user has been sued by Thailand authorities for posting a doctored image of the country's monument, the statue of Two Heroines.
Located in the heart of the Thalang city, the Heroines' Monument is a tribute to the two sisters, Lady Chan and Lady Mook, who fought during the Burmese invasion in the 18th century and led the city to victory.
A user on Facebook, identified by the profile name “Nong Phing Phra Nakhon”, posted a doctored image of the national monument with the message, ‘Phi Bella & Nong Ping Ping – the heroines who fought to save Phuket.
The image drew negative criticism, with several users expressing their contempt over the “distasteful” effort to insult a monument.
The district chief of Thalang, Kongtho Adul Chuthong, along with the descendants of the aforementioned two sisters, filed a complaint with the deputy superintendent of the Thalang Police, Lt Col Anukul Nukatet on Thursday.
What's more, the governor of Phuket, Pakkhapong Thawipat, assigned the case to the district chief and ordered him to file a complaint against the user.
Sharing the history and significance of the monument and the two sisters, Mr Thanit Pratheep Na Thalang, a member of the Thao Sisunthorn Foundation and Thao Thep Kasattri said that the actions of the Facebook user have affected the sentiments of the residents of Phuket.
Some are now even demanding stern legal action against the Facebook user for defaming their beloved historical figures, according to the authorities.
Though the authorities are painting a grim picture of the whole incident and talking about the hurt sentiments, some netizens don't seem to think so.
Many citizens have highlighted the fact that Thailand was turning a blind eye towards pressing issues and focusing on “frivolous nonsense” instead.
“What a joke. If I were them I'd be very careful about making too big a deal of this – most of Phuket's workforce is composed of Myanmar nationals mostly from the south of the country. IF they find out about this stupid thing, they'll be up in arms and Phuket's economy could collapse,” commented a user on Bangkokpost's article covering the said incident.