By Jamila Najmuddin
The External Affairs Ministry has alerted and sought a report from the Sri Lankan High Commission in France over the “Buddha Bar”, an international restaurant and bar chain which has its headquarters in Paris, an External Affairs Ministry official told Daily Mirror online.
Sri Lanka is seeking information if patrons at this bar chain consume liquor and dance in front of Buddha statues and will take necessary action if found to be true.
According to the Ministry official, all other Sri Lankan missions in Europe where the ‘Buddha Bar’ restaurant chain is situated have also been alerted to begin investigations and submit a detailed report on their findings.
“The External Affairs Ministry has pressed its missions to work on this matter. The Sri Lankan mission in France has also been alerted as the Buddha Bar headquarters is in Paris,” the official said.
However the official added that the European governments had no link to the conduct of this international restaurant and bar chain as it was run by private groups who had over the years answered that it was their ‘freedom of expression’ to permit patrons of the bar to dance around the statues if they wished.
“The European governments have nothing to do with this. It is some private groups who have been running this chain and they have this argument that it is their ‘freedom of expression’,” the official said.
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne yesterday said that he has decided to take action over the conduct of the Buddha Bar restaurant chain and intends to inform the leaders of the countries in which these bars are located to take action against such places. (Daily Mirror online)