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Myanmar deporting tourists with Buddha tattoos
Postmedia Network
First posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 02:23 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 02:38 PM EDT
Sporting a Buddha tattoo will get you kicked out of Myanmar -- or even arrested -- tourists are finding out the hard way.
A Spanish man recently visited one of the country's 2,000 Buddhist temples when monks noticed the massive Buddha tattoo on his calf and told officials.
Both Cesar Hernandez and his wife were arrested and held in Rangoon. An officer told AFP that the country planned to deport the couple until Aung San Win, the minister of religious affairs and culture, got involved. The couple was then merely "advised" to leave the country, reported English-language media network Asian Correspondent.
"We have no reason to deport them," Aung said. "We'll just ask them to take care for their safety because some people would view the tattoo on his leg as an insult to the religion."
This follows the case of a Canadian professor who was deported two years ago because he too had a Buddha tattoo. That same year, Sri Lanka deported a British nurse who had inked the Buddha on her arm.
Both insisted that they tattooed the man on their bodies out of religious devotion, not lack of respect. They were told that they were violating the law, put into custody, then kicked out.
- with files from The Washington Post
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