The Sri Lankan authorities have ordered the deportation of a British tourist because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm. Here are some other ways tattoos can get you into trouble, writes Vanessa Barford.
The authorities in Sri Lanka are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism, the religion of the island’s majority Sinhalese, and particularly sensitive about images of Buddha. In March, another tourist was denied entry because officials said he had spoken “disrespectfully” about a similar tattoo. He insisted he followed Buddhist teachings and thought a tattoo was an apt tribute.
Thailand has threatened to crackdown on tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while on holiday, saying the trend is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion. Tattoos have also caused problems in Malaysia. In 2012, the country cancelled a concert by US singer Erykah Badu after a publicity photo showed her with the “Allah” in Arabic tattooed on her upper body, saying it was “an insult to Islam”.