25 November, 2020

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Under Which Law Did The Magistrate Make The Order To Deport The Lady Tourist With The Tattoo Of Lord Buddha? – AHRC

According to reports a 37 year old British nurse who arrived in Sri Lanka this Monday (21st April 2014) was taken by a taxi driver to a nearby police station where, according to her, she was harassed by policemen who demanded money from her. She had arrived at the Airport and the immigration authorities had allowed her to enter the country. She had earlier visited Sri Lanka and several other Buddhist countries and followed meditation under the guidance of Buddhist monks.

Naomi Coleman, 37, was arrested at Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka for 'hurting religious feelings' with her sleeve depicting Buddha on a lotus flower

Naomi Coleman, 37, was arrested at Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka for ‘hurting religious feelings’ with her sleeve depicting Buddha on a lotus flower

When the police were unable to extract bribes from her she had been produced before a Magistrate who according to her did not provide to her any opportunity to speak and then made an order to immediately deport her from Sri Lanka. Subsequently she was deported to New Delhi, from where she has arrived earlier.

One straightforward question that arises from this incident is as to under which law did the Magistrate make an order for deportation. In any case no person can be deported without giving an opportunity to have the charges explained and having the opportunity to answer the charges. This tourist had a right to object to the deportation order and it was the duty of the Magistrate to provide that opportunity. Further, after listening to her objections it was his duty to have an inquiry into alleged grounds on which the request for a deportation was sought. It was also the duty of the Magistrate to provide her the opportunity to retain a lawyer or provide one, by way of assignment by the Court. It does not appear from the reports that the Magistrate had followed any of these procedures.

The allegation, as it appears is, that the tattoo she had on her upper arm depicting Lord Buddha on a lotus flower could have created a public commotion and that alone was the grounds on which the police had sought a deportation order to have her removed from the country. There is no indication that there had been any complaint by any person, to the effect that the reverential exhibition of the Buddha’s image on a lotus flower could cause a commotion amongst the public. Thus, the police have brought on the allegations on their making and initiative. It was the duty of the Magistrate to question the police about the basis of the allegations and to inquire whether there were any grounds at all, to expect such a commotion to take place. If there was any possibility of such a commotion without any legitimate basis, it was the duty of the police and the Magistrate to take all steps necessary to protect her.

It seems quite clear that there appears to be a link between this taxi driver from the airport and the police for extraction of bribes from tourists arriving in Sri Lanka. It is quite possible that there had been other victims of such exercise of harassment.

It was when this attempt failed that the police proceeded to make this ludicrous allegation that the exhibition of such an image could cause a public commotion in Sri Lanka. It appears quite probable that after having found no grounds to cause some fear in the tourist, and thereby to demand bribes failed, the police found flimsy grounds to charge her with, on the basis of the tattoo she had exhibited on her upper arm.

What should in fact cause a commotion is the manner in which an unscrupulous taxi driver connived with the police so as to manipulate the law for harassment and thereby used that for the purposes of extracting bribes. It is this state of lawlessness that should alarm everyone. Equally the manner in which this Magistrate has acted should also be a reason for expressions of public anger. The duty of a Magistrate is to protect all who comes before him, and not to be a pawn at the hands of the police for machinations for extracting bribes.

The Magistrate and the policeman involved in this incident including the officer in charge of the relevant police station should be immediately suspended from their positions and brought to an inquiry. That is what would have happened in any country where there is some respect for the rights persons including those who are visiting as strangers to the land. To deny hospitality to a tourist and to behave in this ugly manner should not go unpunished.

However an even more serious issue is the right for the respect of religious expression of any person of whichever religion it may be. It is the general and usual practice amongst many persons to make some public expression of their religious beliefs by way of various methods. Wearing ornaments with some religious symbols is quite a common practice of many persons. These are matters of private beliefs and every person deserves to have their private expressions of faith and love to be respected. This is not an area where any government has any jurisdiction. This is an area of inviolable rights of individual persons.

As this particular image has now been publicized by international media we have had the opportunity to having a look at the particular image that is depicted on the said tattoo. It is a beautiful Buddhist image and by no stretch of imagination could any reasonable person say that such an image could manifest any kind of irreverence to Lord Buddha. In fact, it manifests that the bearer of the image carries a deep respect for Buddhism.

The action of the police and the Magistrate would without doubt bring tremendous disrespect to Sri Lanka. It is not unreasonable for any person to think that a country where lawful authorities could behave in the manner the in which police and the Magistrate has done, and on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka is weird and crazy.

Of course all this happens in a political environment where impunity is guaranteed to all violators of human rights. It would not be a surprise if this magistrate and policemen escape without any kind of punishment for the manner in which they have violated the law and brought disrepute to the people of Sri Lanka.

Today’s papers also carry pictures of a commuter being severely assaulted by the police at the Colombo railway station; his face filled with wounds, his shirt stained with blood. This picture is now available to the public thanks to the efforts of the journalists. The police who have come to remove some obstacles put on the railway tracks by some workers who are making certain demands have assaulted this innocent commuter who has just arrived at the station to travel back home. If the police came to remove the obstacles put on the railway tracts, they should have done so and returned as there was no resistance for such removal. But that is not the style of the Sri Lanka police these days. There has to be some persons to be brutally assaulted and some blood to be shed, if they are to be satisfied. It is these matters that should be worrying the Magistrates and others concerned with the law, and not tourists and their tattoos.

*Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

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Latest comments

  • 1
    1

    pity The woman was not wearing a tatoo of a lingam.

    • 1
      0

      That you please have tatooed when arriving in next time to the mother land. Then your thugs will surely start copy you. That is how you the scum of the society have to react. What else I could leave here not being able to digest this kind of comments coming from a man is only trained to be obsequious even if lovely ones would have been raped and murdered out.

      • 0
        1

        appuhamy .

        which lovely ones are u referring to I only saw a pic of a [Edited out] woman

        • 1
          0

          Lovely ones of you – mean you and your close circles, you idiot.
          Rajapakshe and their kith and kin would even rape them soon and live scot free saying that people´s mandate allow them to do so.

          You the idiots though said to be living for ages on western soils, seem to have learnt nothing from them. For me, Rajapakshe have no vision at all. They have proved again and again.

  • 1
    0

    This is another instances that demonstrate lawlessness in the country, that only bring disrepute to Sri Lanka.

    There is no enacted law that prevent any person having tattoo of Buddha or Jesus. What is required is to pay due respect to all religions. How many British carry tattoos of Jesus, and no one is worried about it.

    What matters most is to practice what Buddha taught and practice tolerance love care and compassion towards others.

    Buddha himself has said that after 5000 years there won’t be any trade of what Buddha taught.

    True followers of what Buddha taught will take no notice of this nonessential attitude of the Police and the Magistrate who shows no common sense.

  • 5
    0

    In my view What is practice in Srilanka today is Al Qaida Buddhism with no room for tolerance.

  • 5
    0

    What if the tattoo was imprinted in her private part.

    • 0
      0

      Well the part will be removed

  • 0
    6

    So sick of these western folks that play the victim in third world countries. Let’s be honest, this was harsh. But she wasn’t put to death or fined (not sure) or any form of extra punitive penalty for her tattoo. But surely, any of us would have the brains to think that ‘hey maybe this tattoo might offend the wrong people in this conservative religious country so I should probably cover it up for at least the hour that I spend at the airport’.

    • 0
      0

      RW
      How right you are, like all your fellow-Rajapassa Pandankarayas, when you say this is country is filled with “conservative Buddhists” After all, it couldn’t be classified as such if it wasn’t for the conservatism displayed by the killing of Lasantha Wickremetunge, subsequent to which NO ONE has been charged, the gang-rape of the young Russian woman by a gang led by a close associate of those you support and the killing of her boyfriend who was punished for the un-Buddhistic crime of trying to save his girl friend etc. etc. etc.
      sStop making excuses for the inexcusable, man!

  • 2
    0

    Barbaric Sinhala Buddhism at its best! It’s a shame to true Buddhism!
    For a Backward, Primitive, narrow minded, Racist, Fanatic, Barbaric, Inhumane, Submissive insane society worse than Taliban in Sri Lanka known as Sinhala-Buddhists, anything a Western foreigner does with Buddha’s image or statue is an insult to Buddhism. These pseudo-patriotic masses (Sinhala-Buddhist Modayas) expects selective morality from the pseudo-moral government. This is totally disgusting and disgraceful, the country has stooped to such low level.

    This woman has done it to show that she is a Buddhist, if not to show her respect to Buddha and that is probably the reason for her to travel to Sri Lanka, a Buddhist tourist. If she had tattooed Buddha on her buttocks then today she is welcome as a tourist. Thank God she escaped from these Sinhala-Buddhist Barbarians with just a deportation order.

    Today the Buddhist clergy is engaged in racist politics, fanatism and thuggery with the blessings of the govt. and spreading hatred among communities. Who is going to stop them?

  • 1
    0

    So the POLICE is entrusted with the Immigration duties.. ? The statement says she entered the country, which means she passed through Immigration.. WHY would the Taxi driver take her to a Police station? What rights has the Police to produce her to a Judge? what was the crime? not paying a BRIBE is a crime? The learned Judge whould have known better.. wonder IF he too took lectures from the same guy who gave NAMAL..

  • 1
    0

    How come she came to Sri Lanka twice before and did not have any problem.
    How come suddnley she was caught and imprissoned for Three days like a murder criminal, when the Thangalla Mayor and his thugs who murdered British tourist Khuram and raped his Russian girl friend were roaming freely for over two years without any charges. Is this the way Sinhala Buddha Government give judgments…….

    Even India where Lord Buddha was born and has over a Billion Population and with so many religious groups do not have this many problems compared to so called Buddhist Sri Lanka’s tourists.

    Looks like there’s a conspiracy behind this. It’s bad and ugly to all of us Sri Lankans.

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Thats why Our own women are been treated like slaves in Middle East and still nobody in the Government talks on them.

    This may be a Tit for Tat treatment for what Pres.Rajapakse got during his last two London trips.

    Anyway he has to face London again in July this year.

    Also a lot of things will be exposed during May World youth conference.

    Let’s see how the Drama unfolds.

  • 1
    0

    Sri Lanka Police is the most corrupt institution in the World. This is much worse than Tanzania when I visited there during eighties.

    In 80’s Tanzanian Policemen were using their guns to rob people in the night and now same happening in Sri Lanka.

    My friend even got Good Kasippu from Havelock Town Police station on Poya days during 1980s. I can even reveal the Policeman’s name who was dealing in Kasippu inside the Havelock town Police station. Now it might be worse with free flow of Drugs, Cocain and Ethenol in the market.

    This is how Rajapakse Brothers Ethenol, Drugs and Cocain Mafia Cartel works. Let’s see when casinos are opened.

    A Fake Buddhist country…..My Foot.

  • 1
    0

    This is purely the cheap Sinhala Buddhist ruling political thugs trying to get cheap attention from the world.

    These monkeys with inferiority complex who lost their prestige, now looking to get back their lost honour and prestige during CHOGM from the outside world.

    Looks like everybody from the Ruling party to the Taxi driver upto the Police and the Magistrate are all involved in discrediting and punishing this innocent tourist. Nothing happens without Gota’s consent.

    It clearly shows that it is both MR and Gota are behind this illegal deportation.

    Therefore both BASL and AHRC should work to bring justice to this victim and bring the culprits to books and should punish them. This shows they are not bothered about the country and it’s image while giving bogus tourist arrival figures to the outside world.

    Today what happened to her could happen to anybody and therefore BASL should bring a Lawsuit against the Police and the Magistrate on behalf of this victim.

    Also sending her back to India without allowing her to proceed with her trip shows their rudeness and wickedness the world.

    The war crime crooks should be caught and charged and bring to Hague to face trial when they travel abroad.

    Very soon the crooks will face UNHRC War crime charges in Hague.

  • 1
    0

    This is how Medamoolana Hambanthota Gon Raja “Mee haraka” wild Buffalo animal beast whose Father is a [Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    With immediate effect, the following will apply-

    http://www.eta.gov.lk website to notify applicants that no tourist can enter SL with Buddha tatoos.
    Immigration officers worldwide to check for Buddha tatoos when clearing immigration. This also includes SL.
    Flight crew to inform passengers during landing at BIA that no tourist can enter SL if tatood Buddha in their bodies
    SL tourist board website to update new rule.

    As a result, we are happy to let go tourist to neighboring countries.

  • 0
    0

    These comments are mostly from hypocrits with an axe to grind. See more balanced readers views in the UK, where Naomi comes from..

    The common theme seem to be “When in Rome, do as Romans do”.
    No venomous rubbish as we see among CT readers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/22/sri-lanka-deports-british-tourist-buddha-tattoo

  • 0
    0

    These comments are mostly from hypocrites with an axe to grind. See more balanced readers views in the UK, where Naomi comes from..

    The common theme seem to be “When in Rome, do as Romans do”.
    No venomous rubbish as we see among CT readers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/22/sri-lanka-deports-british-tourist-buddha-tattoo

  • 0
    0

    Readers comments above are mostly from hypocrites with axe to grind. See more balanced readers’ views in the UK, where Naomi comes from.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/22/sri-lanka-deports-british-tourist-buddha-tattoo

    The common theme seems to be “When in Rome, do as Romans do”.

    “After many years of working and living abroad there are a few simple steps to having a trouble free life.
    1 Learn some of your hosts language. (if you can)
    2. Respect their Laws.
    3. Respect their traditions.
    4. Respect their way of life.
    5. If you can’t manage 2, 3, & 4 expect to be treated with the same respect you have shown them”.
     

    • 0
      0

      Paul
      (a) Their is no law regarding tattoos, unless it is obscene. Having a tattoo of any religion etched on one’s skin is not illegal in a civilized world. Their are Muslims inscribed with verses of the Koran tattooed on their skin who pay pilgrimage to Mecca every year and they are not harassed by Saudi authorities. Do you think a Christian with a tattoo of the cross on his hand or neck will not be allowed into Italy or the Vatican? Do you think India cares two hoots for tourists having a tattoo of a Hindu deity in any part of their body including the crotch and would deny them entry?
      (b) The lady in question did not in anyway abuse the laws of the country, nowhere in SL law can you find an issue about Buddha Tattoos. It is manipulation of Buddhism by the Sinhalese for ulterior motives that has created this situation.
      (c) Respecting traditions is a must however it does not mean one needs to wear sari when getting down from the aircraft. The lady in question just got out from the airport, leave alone understanding any tradition.
      (d) Certainly she respected and understood the way of life, when she was unceremoniously marched into a Police Station, threatened to pay bribe and since she did not do that, marched up to an equally ignorant Magistrate of Law, remanded with common criminals and deported.
      (e) If you were to walk into Pakistan with a tattoo of the word “Koran” on your hand, you could be arrested. Why? It is to do with the level of understanding of the Koran. Though Pakistan is a Islamic nation, Pakistanis understanding of Islam could be classified as the lowest. Today this nation is the harbor for drugs, corruption, dictatorial law, extra judicial killings and a notorious legal system.
      (f) Do you see some comparison of SL with Pakistan?

      • 0
        0

        There are over half a million homicides and similar number of reported cases of rape occuring in the world each year.
        You all are making a mountain out of a molehill on a single case of – obviously wrongly executed – deportation without directing your energies to stop the above.

        By the way I am aware of civilised countries that declared death sentence on a cortoonist for drawing a caricature of someone and bombed historical buddha stautes because it represented a different religion.

  • 0
    0

    This country is going to the dogs.Buddhism is being disgraced by the Sinhalese people. The government has become a laughing stock to many people in the world.

  • 1
    0

    The way this poor lady was treated by the Govt of Sri Lanka is truly despicable. This lady had embraced what Buddha taught and and simply made her faith known to the outside world, but it had brought her totally unexpected and extremely harsh experience in the hands of ‘so-called paper Buddhists.

    Sad but the truth is so bitter, if you wish to know about more information about this saga visit London Telegraph.

  • 2
    0

    She came to a land where Buddhism is used to fool voters and get votes.Thugs who are supposed to be Buddhist by day sell Kudu and make Kasippu by night. So called monks have 5 star birthday celebrations in the presence of murderers.A group of Bhikkhus who had hijacked Buddhism and spoilt the image of a religion. A land full of politicians who scream from the top of their voices to eradicate slaughter of animals and alcoholism and party with all sorts meet and spirits.
    To Naomi, We erect Buddha statues every nook & corner of all roads in the land and do all sorts of sin in front of them but couldn’t tolerate your exhibition of love to the religion of your choice. If you you are a true buddhist have the image of Buddha firmly tattooed in your heart which most of us lack than on your skin. Thank you.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lanka Tourist Board offered a free business class ticket to the innocent victim, a clear admission of the monumental blunder committed by the Police and the foolish Magistrate.

    In ironise to a query post ny Sunday Times this is what the Tourist Board said.

    “Yes, we arranged an air ticket on business class for Ms. Coleman to ensure an easy passage back to UK as Sri Lanka Tourism wish to see that all tourists be happy when leaving the country after a holiday,” said the response to a question posed via email by the Sunday Times. “Since she couldn’t enjoy her stay in Sri Lanka, we are ready to welcome her back to the island again to experience the country.”

    This is really an insult to injury of what is happening under the rogue regime.

  • 2
    0

    New regulation to be introduced for all tourists coming to Sri Lanka
    When applying for Sri Lankan visa one have to declare that he/she has no Buddha tattoos on any of their body parts
    At the port of embarkation as part of security screening all passengers to Sri Lanka will be stripped searched to ensure they are not concealing a Buddha tattoo of course this will cost Sri Lanka millions of pounds
    In side the flight during safety demo an announcement will be made that passengers are barred from entering the country with Buddha tattoo
    At arrival in colombo the custom declaration form will have a statement I have no Buddha tattoo for the passenger to sign
    The newly formed religious police will have the right to strip foreign tourist any where any time to look for Buddha tattoo
    Taxi drives and 3wheeler drivers will have new powers to hike the fare of a tourist suspected of having Buddha tattoo if refused they can be handed over to the police to negotiate a bribe

    The exception to this new regulation if the tourist is willing to fly to Hambantota and / or the tourist is wiling to gamble millions in the new casinos

  • 0
    0

    Moda Sinhalayas even don’t know how to settle a dispute amicably.

    Here there was Money and Bribe involved.

    The political crooks looking for cheap publicity and attention, while loosing image and revenue from tourism.

    Moda Buddhist Sinhala Political monkeys only good at eating Free Kiribath and to say Sadu, Sadu,…..SSSAAAAAADDDDDDOOOOOO.

  • 0
    0

    This si almost like illegal garages protection by magistrates. No fine no close but people around these garages die with cancer.

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