Myanmar deports Spanish tourist for Buddha tattoo on leg

Nay Pyi Taw, July 12 (IANS) Myanmar authorities have deported a Spanish tourist for sporting a tattoo of Lord Buddha on his left leg, an act that is considered offensive in the Buddhist country, diplomatic sources told Efe news on Tuesday.

The Spaniard was detained in Bagan city, which houses thousands of Buddhist temples and is a popular tourist spot, after Buddhist monks reported him to the authorities.

The youth and his partner were then deported to the Thai city of Chiang Mai, the sources said.

The Spanish foreign ministry explicitly warns on its website that tattooing images of the Buddha on body parts is not allowed in Myanmar and must be covered if they are on any visible parts of the body, especially legs.

In 2011, Myanmar began opening up to the outside world, following a long period of military dictatorship that had isolated the country from the rest of the world.

In March 2015, the country’s justice system had sentenced New Zealand’s Phil Blackwood and two of his local partners to two and a half years in prison for using an image of the Buddha to promote their restaurant in Yangon.

Ninety-five per cent of Myanmarese people are Buddhists.

–IANS

ksk/vt

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