The Sunday Leader

Buddha Tattoos Now On Travel Advisory

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office last week warned British nationals visiting Sri Lanka not to have visible tattoos of the Lord Buddha.

The warning in an updated travel advisory on Sri Lanka comes after British national Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport and ordered to be deported for having a tattoo of the Lord Buddha on her arm.

The updated travel advisory notes that the mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this.

“British nationals have been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha. Don’t pose for photographs by standing in front of a statue of Buddha,” the travel advice said.

A police spokesman had said Coleman was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings” after the tattoo of a Buddha seated on a lotus flower was spotted on her right arm.

After her arrest Coleman appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation. (ER)


9 Comments for “Buddha Tattoos Now On Travel Advisory”

  1. AJ

    Under what law this comes in Srianka. So you can have Buddha under invisible places.ok mad Lankans. Practice buddhisham first.

  2. Lal.Fernando.

    What a stupid decission is this from Sri Lankan authorities.I am a catholic and I have a cross tatooed on my wrist.Will I be able to enter the country? How about these so called budhist monks engaging in thugerry and other violent confrontations? Is that excepted. Con on Sri Lanka wake upi to your selves and behave like human beings.

  3. Malin

    I am being a Buddhist, I don’t find anything wrong of Buddha’s Tattoo on the tourist’s right arm. It shows how much she has faith in Buddhism. If it was in an inappropriate place, that’s different matter. I think she is a better Buddhist than I am as I don’t do any meditation, going for retreats as she does. Police should round up the people specially the thugs, underworld elements who have Buddha’s Tatoos and involved in all criminal activities.
    This action is stupid on the part of the Police. I personally apologise for this Buddhistic lady.

  4. Sylvia Haik

    Sri Lanka is no more a Buddhist country than Nepal (where Buddha was born) or Thailand or Japan. No other country has such silly rules and before long we’d become the laughing stock of the world.

  5. Mailin

    Why would you want to visit third wolrd under ceveloped SL in the first place when there are so many other countries where there is so much freedom?

  6. Elijah

    Bath houses and hot springs in Japan and Korea don’t admit people with tattoos, in part because of the link with organized crime. Aboriginal tattoos may contain ash from cremated remains and are considered demonism and necromancy.

  7. R Silva

    Ridiculous, then why SL police arrest religious fanatics from all the religions including some monks who involve in destroying feelings of the Buddhists. “The warning in an updated travel advisory on Sri Lanka comes after British national Naomi Michelle Coleman”. This attempt gives solid legal points for Naomi. We are not running out of superb idiots in all higher positions. If we want to save the image of the country, citizens, Buddhism, tourism and so on only thing the authorities should do is to take action against the police and prison officers who have been accused my Ms Coleman for asking money and sex from her during captivity and then apologize for what she went through. Not a single word from a Buddhist leaders – disgusting.

  8. hitruwan

    Will anyone who commented below go to middle east or any muslim country and dare have tattoo or insult the Quran. They won’t be deported they’ll be executed.
    They are buddha statues used as garden decorations other decorations. They are buddha images on slippers and flip flops. There’s a well known “Buddha Bar” , chain of bars located across Europe. It has been Sri Lanka’s initiation and convincing other countries like Thailand and Nepal that we have managed to work through UN to close some of these Bars, latest one being from Italy. The company that print buddha images on slippers rendered a public apology and stopped after the action taken by Sri Lanka Buddhist society in USA. It is simply wrong for one person to mock or disgrace something that is sacred to another. If that is ignorance they have to be educated. By doing this Sri Lanka sends a powerful message to the world. You have a choice either have a buddha tattoo or go for holiday in Sri Lanka. May be other countries will follow this.

  9. gamarala

    Many buddhists pray,donate cash,make vows and even curse their enemies by dashing coconuts at Vishnu Shrines in the premises of Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka.
    Many Buddhists including the President, pray at other hindu shrines in Sri Lanka and in India,
    Why is this permitted? Is this not an insult to Buddhism?

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