Naomi Michelle Coleman, the British woman who was arrested and detained for three days in Sri Lanak for sporting a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm in 2014, told Colombo Telegraph that the compensation paid following a court ruling was not adequate but said that she had ‘got to the point of having no trust in the system’ anyway.
‘I had started to believe that I would get nothing at all,’ Coleman said in a response to a question posed by Colombo Telegraph with regard to compensation.
The Supreme Court upheld her case on Wednesday, declaring that her arrest was illegal and charges of offence baseless. Accordingly the state was ordered to pay her 700,000 rupees (£3,500). The three-judge bench said Coleman, who was not present at the court, was subjected to ‘horrifying and scandalous treatment’. The two police officers found to have acted inappropriately in arresting her were also instructed to pay Coleman 100,000 (£500).
Coleman, who was represented by J.C. Weliamuna and his team of lawyers, told Colombo Telegraph that she didn’t have to pay incur any legal fees, but she had to spend around 150 Sterling Pounds to send statements and affidavits through FedEx.
“The holiday me and my friend booked would have come to £2000 for the two of us..so really it has just recompensated my holiday with a little extra,” she said.
“I am just happy of the support of the rational thinking people and I knew in my heart that I had done nothing wrong. I never disrespected the Buddha in any way as I know the rules around Buddhism. I thank the lawyers for putting my case forward and their hard work and am just glad the whole saga has been resolved and the people in the wrong had to also issue a payment,” she explained.
Coleman also said that she doesn’t know what happened to the taxi driver who started the entire saga and had bragged in social media about getting her arrested.
“I am sure Karma will be served and I am glad the wrongdoing of the others has been acknowledged finally,” she said while thanking her lawyers for taking up her case and for their hard work.
“I am just glad the whole saga has been resolved and the people in the wrong had to also issue a payment,” she concluded.