It’s possible that Sri Lanka is doing Buddhism wrong. It’s also possible that I have a naïve view of Buddhism, and that non-attachment is entirely compatible with being petty and obsessive about things that don’t matter. You be the judge.
A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a Buddha tattoo on her arm.
Naomi Coleman was arrested as she arrived at the airport in the capital Colombo after authorities spotted the tattoo on her right arm.
A police spokesman said the 37-year-old from Coventry was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings”.
Ms Coleman is being held at an immigration detention camp after a magistrate ordered her deportation.
She was going to the Maldives next and said ok she would just go straight there but they told her no, she had to go back home. How does that work, I wonder – why does Sri Lanka get to decide her destination?
The UK travel advice on Sri Lanka warns of the sensitivity of the issue and tells visitors not to pose for photos in front of statues of Buddha.
Over the past year monks belonging to certain hardline Buddhist groups have led violent attacks against Muslims and Christians, a trend which has given rise to considerable concern among religious minorities in Sri Lanka.
I think the “hardline Buddhist groups” are also probably doing Buddhism wrong. But I’m not a Buddhist, so I don’t know.