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Tourists who took mocking pics given suspended sentence

21 August 2012 02:34 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Three French nationals - two women and a man were today sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years and fined Rs.1,500 each for taking photographs by possing in an unbecoming manner beside the Buddha statues at the Embekka Devale.  

Galle Chief Magistrate U.S. Kalansooriya sentenced the three suspects Christina Margarita, George and Emile when they were produced in courts by the Galle police.
The three tourists had visited the Embekka Devale in Kandy and posed for photographs while embracing and kissing a Buddha statue. Thereafter they had gone to Galle and had given the photographs to be printed to a studio in Galle. On seeing the photographs the studio manager had informed the Galle police.

The tourists had been arrested by police personnel led by SSP Vaas Gunawardena.
Considering an appeal submitted by the lawyer appearing for the three French nationals, their cameras and their passports were returned but the offensive photographs were destroyed. (D.G. Sugathapala and Krishan J. Jayaruk)

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  Comments - 26

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  • Another Mervin Silva Wednesday, 22 August 2012 08:36 AM

    Fine of 1,500/- is a joke - it should be 150,000/-

    But why destroying the photos by the Police??? - highly suspicious. Things could be reversed due to unavailability of the evidence.

    Dilendra Fernando Friday, 24 August 2012 01:20 AM

    Buddhists do practice tolerance, but there arent any Buddhists in SL. Do we at least know the meaning of the word 'tolerance?'

    Managala Thursday, 23 August 2012 03:37 AM

    It is a offence mocking lord buddha that is buddhist respect and faith.

    Joshua Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:50 PM

    Whats the problem in hugging and kissing the statue of a human being???

    ishi Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:44 PM

    Exactly, how come the god needs protection and justice from the human being???

    Managala Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:17 PM

    Better you dont comment on thing you dont know about

    Managala Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:09 PM

    Do ppl need to tell how to behave in religious places ? that is common sense i believe

    Jesus Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:48 AM

    Obivoiously the tourist will make fun..because god cannot be in brick form

    Max Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:14 AM

    first of all, Rs 1500 fine would be nothing for them. Secondly, they will never come to so called Miracle or Asia ever again. Thirdly, cant expect a tourist to know a country's cultural stuff. So there should be boards & signs stating not to take pics or dont take offensive pics!

    Sri Radharakshitha Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:23 AM

    "There is nothing wrong in hugging and kissing a Buddha statute" These definitely not the words of a Buddhist!

    Kamal Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:32 AM

    Mocking any religious beliefs is bad. Everyone should respect each other's religions. I found out that the galle studio manager was a MUSLIM. Thank you brother for respecting Buddhism.

    Paul Wednesday, 22 August 2012 09:59 AM

    Very well said Lankalion!

    lankalion Wednesday, 22 August 2012 09:17 AM

    This is ridiculous! There is nothing wrong in hugging and kissing a Buddha statute. Lord Buddha, Buddha statues and the Buddhist religion are not exlusive to any country, group or person and to say or determine so is an insult and denigration of this great philosophy! It's ridiculous how in Sri Lanka, the great, tolerant teacher has been turned into a dictatorial, megalomanic god! Lord Buddha is increasingly looking like Prabakharan! Clearly people at the devale where these pictures were being taken did not find any particular offence with what the tourists were doing. It is of absolutely no business of the photo developer to have done so. I can also see nothing in Sri Lanka's law books to punish or criminalise behaviour like kissing and hugging a Buddha statute! Shame on us Buddhists and Sri Lankans to sit and idly watch our teacher being turned into a Prabhakaran!

    Varuna Tuesday, 21 August 2012 03:41 PM

    Very good. These people think only their religion should exist.

    Clifford David Wednesday, 22 August 2012 04:54 AM

    More worst things happening in the country today, open your eyes and see whats going around and what's the punishment of those who were involved

    Sri Radharakshitha Wednesday, 22 August 2012 04:08 AM

    This understanding is already given to them via tourist handbook and guides. It is only through strict punishment that these incidents can be prevented in the future

    Sri Lankan Wednesday, 22 August 2012 04:01 AM

    Punishing these people is not solution.. We should take measures to educate foreign nationals who is visiting sri lanka. their don't have understanding in our religions, believes, culture...

    ravi seneviratne Wednesday, 22 August 2012 03:04 AM

    they should have been deported immediatly.

    Sumanadasa Wednesday, 22 August 2012 01:30 AM

    I see some pathetic comments. The gist which is missing here is ...

    - didn't any single one notice when these photos were captured in Embekke Kandy
    - we need to ensure proper guidelines are displayed at cultural sites while security staff present to avoid similar acts
    - what IF these tourists never walked in to the studio in "Galle". In this digital era, it is possible to upload these pics and geo-tag straight from Embekke itself

    Its time we get our acts together and processes ironed out ...

    Sapumal Bandara Wednesday, 22 August 2012 12:53 AM

    Because we Buddhists practice tolerance, people who practice other religions take us for granted.
    Try this type of vulgar behaviour in the Vatican. or in Mecca?

    Kalu Sooriya Wednesday, 22 August 2012 12:51 AM

    There is no real point in giving them a harsh punishment like imprisonment. We all make silly mistakes. They should be repair minded and fined or make them to give donation to charitable organisation.

    Lobo Wednesday, 22 August 2012 12:32 AM

    So whats wrong with embracing and kissing a holy statue? Christians and Hindus also embrace and kiss their holy statues. Time our Buddhist population grew up and stopped being so insecure about. It's what in you and how you lead your life that matters and nothing can take that away from you.

    Nodrog Wednesday, 22 August 2012 12:32 AM

    More 'unbecoming' things are happening to disgrace Buddhism like monks caught drunk or scolding people in filth. But we still try to show the world how holy we are by over-reacting for these minor incidents.

    if thesangaralingham Tuesday, 21 August 2012 08:43 PM

    disgrace to you all. learn etiqutte manners before leaving. arrogance deceitful conduct.

    Jack in the Box Tuesday, 21 August 2012 08:20 PM

    I guess they wont be EVER coming back to our Miracle of Asia.... We should clearly instruct foreign nationals not to take photo's that are improper , rather than putting them through our great judicial system...

    Yo Yo Tuesday, 21 August 2012 03:57 PM

    Thaliban Buddhist state in the making :-(


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