• Spain's news in English
Spaniard with Buddha tattoo to be deported from Myanmar
Tourists are warned not to display tattoos of Buddha. Archive photo: AFP

Spaniard with Buddha tattoo to be deported from Myanmar

AFP · 11 Jul 2016, 15:02

Published: 11 Jul 2016 15:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The man was initially detained in Bagan, an ancient town in central Myanmar where tourists flock to visit thousands of picturesque temples and pagodas.

"Monks in Bagan saw a Buddha tattoo on his right leg because he was wearing shorts. They informed us as it's not appropriate," a police officer in Bagan told AFP, requesting anonymity, adding that the Spaniard was promptly sent back to Yangon.

A police official at Yangon airport, who also asked not to be named, confirmed the detention and said the man would be deported to Bangkok on Monday evening.

"We will send him back because he violated the rules as a tourist here," he said.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has seen a dramatic political transformation over recent years, with decades of junta rule giving way to a civilian-led government and a once isolated country opening up to lucrative foreign investment and tourists.

The changes have coincided with the rise of a small but influential Buddhist nationalist movement that rails against the five percent of the population that are Muslim and what are perceived to be corrupting Western

Portrayals of Buddha can land foreigners in hot water.

Last year a New Zealand bar manager spent 10 months in jail for "insulting religion" by using a Buddha image to promote a cheap drinks night.    

A Canadian tourist and practising Buddhist was detained in 2014 for sporting a leg tattoo of Buddha.

Although many Buddhists, particular Western adherents, boast tattoos of the religion's founder, it can cause offence in some nations where the faith is practiced.

Story continues below…

A British nurse was thrown out of Sri Lanka in 2014 for a Buddha tattoo on her arm despite her insistence she was a devotee who got inked as a mark of respect.

In Thailand, airports put up posters warning visitors not to get Buddha tattoos or buy statues.

Countries like Myanmar and Thailand believe the body becomes less sacred from the head down, making Buddha leg tattoos particularly problematic.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available