A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a large tattoo of a Buddha on her arm.
Naomi Michelle Coleman was arrested as she arrived at the airport in the capital Colombo after authorities spotted the tattoo of a Buddha sitting on a locus flower on her right arm, said the BBC.
A police spokesman said the 37-year-old was arrested for "hurting others' religious feelings".
A magistrate ordered Ms Coleman's deportation. She is currently being held at an immigration detention camp and is expected to fly home within days.
Authorities regularly take strict action against perceived insults to Buddhism, which is the religion of Sri Lanka's majority ethnic Sinhalese.
The British High Commission in Colombo said: "We are aware of the case and are providing appropriate consular assistance."
Ms Coleman arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport on Monday from India.
The UK Foreign Office warns tourists visiting Sri Lanka of the danger of mistreating Buddhist images. It says on its travel advisory site: "Don't pose for photographs by standing in front of a statue of Buddha.
"The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this. In March 2013, a British national was refused entry to Sri Lanka because he had a large visible tattoo of Buddha on his arm."
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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