Three French Tourists Arrested in Sri Lanka for Kissing a Statue of Buddha



We need to internalize the habits and customs of the destination we visit in order to avoid situations that would be offensive to people who welcome us. Our Western ways are very different from the rules of conduct practiced by Asian countries and some of them could have serious consequences.

Three French tourists, two men and a woman,were arrested in Sri Lanka after the woman was photographed kissing the lips of the statue of Buddha.

Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist and its people are very sensitive to the lack of respect of the image of Buddha, as well as visitors’ behavior in the sanctuaries.

The country’s authorities specifically accused the tourists of ‘desecrating’ the Buddhist shrine town of Kandy; showing disrespect to the Buddha by kissing the holy statue (in another photo a man is pohotographed as imitatingthe Buddha’s posture. These behaviors deeply offended the Buddhists.

The misconduct of the French was denounced by the employee of a local establishment, who alerted authorities when the tourists tried to print photos and were detained.

Subsequently after paying a fine of 1,500 rupees (8.6 euros), they were released. They were originally sentenced for five years. The judge also ordered their deportation.

Beyond its status as a tourist, visitors must be be aware about the holy places and remain silent silent during prayers Tourists should be silent and should dress properly.


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