Sri Lanka and Italy are now engaged in a diplomatic row over a bar named ‘Buddha Bar’. Sri Lankans in Italy have already urged the Sri Lankan Embassy to take immediate action to remove the name of the ‘Buddha’ which is being used on the name board of a Bar located at Sala Baganza in Parma, Italy.
According to a leading newspaper Daily Mirror; this bar is said to have been opened recently. Sri Lankans living in the area said they boycotted this bar named as the ‘Buddha Bar’ and requested others living in the area to do the same as a mark of protest.
Sri Lankan foreign ministry is gathering more information and likely to ask its envoy to Italy to demand the removal of name Buddha Bar.
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist majority island nation with more than 70 per cent population is of Buddhist religion.
Buddha tattoos banned
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office last week warned British nationals visiting Sri Lanka not to have visible tattoos of the Lord Buddha, reports Sunday Leader newspaper.
The warning in an updated travel advisory on Sri Lanka comes after British national Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport and ordered to be deported for having a tattoo of the Lord Buddha on her arm. The updated travel advisory notes that the mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this.
“British nationals have been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha. Don’t pose for photographs by standing in front of a statue of Buddha,” the travel advice said.A police spokesman had said Coleman was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings” after the tattoo of a Buddha seated on a lotus flower was spotted on her right arm.
After her arrest Coleman appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation.