British tourist faces deportation from Sri Lanka over Buddha tattoo

Naomi Coleman was arrested for "hurting others' religious feelings."
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   April 22, 2014 at 12:14 PM
| License Photo

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 22 (UPI) -- A British tourist may soon be heading home from her vacation in Sri Lanka without ever having gotten much farther into the country than the airport in Colombo.

Naomi Coleman was arrested for "hurting others' religious feelings” after authorities were alerted about the Buddha tattoo on her arm and she is now facing deportation.

The 37-year-old is being held at an immigration detention camp and is expected to be expelled from the country within the next few days.

"I got to the airport in Sri Lanka. It was fine. They stamped my passport. There was no problem,” Coleman told the BBC. “It was just when I was taking my suitcases out, one of the taxi men at the stand stopped me and said, 'Oh, this is a big problem in Sri Lanka, you've got a Buddha tattoo.'"

Coleman has previously attended Buddhism workshops in Thailand, India, Cambodia and Nepal.

She claims that authorities are conducting extensive security checks like she’s a “criminal or something" before deporting her back to the United Kingdom.


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