pope ph

Sri Lanka bars Briton with Buddha tattoo

COLOMBO—Sri Lanka denied entry to a British tourist sporting a Buddha tattoo on his arm because he showed disrespect to Buddhism, a newspaper report said Saturday.

The unnamed Briton was turned back at Bandaranaike International Airport late Friday, according to the daily Lankadeepa Sinhalese.

“When questioned about the tattoo, he spoke very disrespectfully about Buddhism,” an immigration official told the newspaper.

“If he expressed such views after entering the country, it would have been a threat to his own safety.”

An airport official confirmed the report, but declined to give details.

Sri Lanka, a majority Buddhist nation, is highly sensitive to what is perceives as threats to the religion.

Last August, three French tourists were sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended for five years, for kissing a Buddha statue in what the authorities considered was a sign of disrespect to Buddhism.

In 2010, Sri Lanka prevented US rap star Akon from visiting over one of his music videos featuring scantily clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue.

Follow Us

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Buddha , Buddhism , Religion , Sri Lanka , tattoo , Tourism

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94