Tourist in hot wa­ter over Bud­dha tat­too

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - THAN NAING SOE thannaing­soe@mm­times.com – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Toe Wai Aung, trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

A Span­ish tourist vis­it­ing Ba­gan was in­ter­viewed by re­li­gion and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials over his tat­too, and was sent back to Yan­gon, pos­si­bly to be de­ported over the im­age.

A SPAN­ISH tourist vis­it­ing Ba­gan with his wife over the week­end found his trip in­ter­rupted when po­lice dis­cov­ered a Bud­dha tat­too on his leg.

The tourist and his wife were es­corted to Yan­gon on July 10, ac­cord­ing to Man­dalay Re­gion po­lice.

Shin San­davaya from the Thar­makay monastery re­ported the case to the po­lice sta­tion in Ba­gan after he spot­ted a Bud­dha im­age on the leg of vis­i­tor out­side Kan­tot­palin Pagoda.

Re­li­gious au­thor­i­ties from the Nyaung-U of­fice and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers in­ter­viewed the 46-year-old tourist and con­firmed that he has a Bud­dha tat­too on his calf that was inked in Spain. The two tourists were sent to Yan­gon the same day, and the em­bassy con­tacted, ac­cord­ing to Man­dalay po­lice.

“They ar­rived in Yan­gon [yes­ter­day] morn­ing at 5am leav­ing Ba­gan by bus. The tourist po­lice took them to the Span­ish em­bassy around 5:30am,” said an of­fi­cer from the Min­gal­adon town­ship sta­tion.

AFP quoted a po­lice of­fi­cer say­ing that the man will be de­ported to Bangkok. The Myan­mar Times was un­able to in­de­pen­dently con­firm deportation plans.

In 2014, a Cana­dian tourist vis­it­ing Myan­mar with his girl­friend was de­tained by of­fi­cials after a so­cial me­dia firestorm erupted over Bud­dhist tat­toos on his leg. The Bud­dhist univer­sity lec­turer, who works in Hong Kong, was re­port­edly go­ing to be de­ported un­til the Chi­nese em­bassy in­ter­vened.

In 2015, bar man­ager and New Zealan­der Phil Black­wood was con­victed of in­sult­ing re­li­gion when his es­tab­lish­ment pro­moted a cheap drinks night with a poster of a Bud­dha wear­ing head­phones. He was par­doned and re­leased in Jan­uary.

Photo: Face­book

A Span­ish tourist was re­ported to po­lice in Ba­gan after a monk spot­ted his Bud­dha tat­too.

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