British tourist wins tattoo case

November 17, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, 17 November 2017: Sri Lanka’s top court. Wednesday, awarded compensation to a British woman arrested for sporting a Buddha tattoo, saying the nurse was subjected to “horrifying and scandalous treatment” by local authorities.

Naomi Michelle Coleman was detained in prison in 2014 after touching down in Colombo, where police in the Buddhist-majority country took offence to the tattoo on her arm.

Coleman, a devout Buddhist, was deported three days later by a local magistrate in a scandal that embarrassed Sri Lanka’s tourism board. Read more

Festival time in Myanmar

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, Myanmar, News

YANGON 25 August 2017: Myanmar’s festival season kicks off in September, a month-long period of celebrations that showcase the country’s culture and traditions.

From dancing papier-mâché elephants to colourful parades, from oil lamp illuminations to long-tail boat racing, the festive season is one of the best times to visit Myanmar according to Myanmar Tourism Marketing.

September marks the end of Buddhist Lent and the closing weeks of the annual rainy season. Read more

Asarnha Bucha Day holiday

July 7, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 7 July 2017: Thais and foreign residents will enjoy a three-day holiday break starting this Saturday thanks to two Buddhist celebrations that fall on Saturday and Sunday.

The Saturday, 8 July, marks the full-moon Asarnha Bucha Day, (15th day of the eighth month), while Khao Phansa (Buddhist lent) is celebrated, 9 July, when Buddhist monks are confined to their temples during the traditional rice planting and harvest months.

Monday 10 July is a substitute for Asarnha Bucha Day. Read more

Visakha Bucha Day 10 May

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, News

BANGKOK, 9 May 2017: Visakha Bucha Day, 10 May, is an important religious festival in the Buddhist calendar, falling usually in May on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month.

When a year has an extra eighth lunar month –Adhikamasa (13 full moons in the year) – Visakha Bucha Day falls on the full moon day of the seventh lunar month (June).

This year, the religious holiday will be celebrated Wednesday, 10 May. Buddhists in many ASEAN countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore) observe the holiday even if it is not officially a national holiday. Read more

Makha Bucha holiday

February 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, News

BANGKOK, 10 February 2017: Makha Bucha, an important religious celebration in the Buddhist calendar, falls on Saturday 11 February, the full-moon day of the third lunar month. Offices, banks and government offices in Thailand close for the substitution holiday on Monday, 13 February.

The religious holiday is designated a public holiday in most Mekong Region countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, where Buddhism holds sway.

This Sunday, Buddhists will attend ceremonies that venerate the Lord Buddha and his teachings. It involves visits to temples to perform merit-making activities in the morning.  In the evening, people join candlelight processions around a temple’s ordination chapel, three times in a clockwise direction. Read more

Dutch tourist jailed in Myanmar

October 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

MANDALAY, 7 October 2016: A Myanmar court on Thursday jailed a Dutch tourist for three months with hard labour for insulting religion after he unplugged an amplifier relaying a late-night Buddhist sermon.

Klass Haytema, 30, was arrested two weeks ago after he pulled the plug on the Buddhist service held near his hotel in the northern city of Mandalay, complaining about the noise.

Slights against religion are treated with extreme seriousness by the courts and a pious public in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Read more

Tourist pulls plug on sermon

September 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 28 September 2016: A Dutch tourist has been detained in Myanmar for insulting religion after being accused of pulling the plug on a speaker relaying a late-night Buddhist sermon in Mandalay.

Klass Haytema, 30, has been held since Friday night when he allegedly disconnected the cable linking an amplifier and a speaker at a hall playing the sermon after he complained that it was disturbing him, police said.

“The religious hall is not far from the hotel where he was staying… he said he did it because it was too noisy for him,” Kyi Soe, police chief at Maha Aung Myay township, told AFP. Read more

Donations to renovate Lao stupa

September 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 1 September 2016: Vientiane’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department calls on the public to make donations to fund the renovation of Phra That Luang, a national symbol in the capital city.

Lao News Agency reported that the official launch of the donations campaign for the Phra That Luang Renovation Project will take place, 4 September, at That Luang Square.

This will be the fourth major renovation at Phra That Luang. Other renovations were undertaken in 1819, 1930, 1976, 1993, and 1996, according to the department director, Khampradith Khemmanith. Read more

Tattoo lands tourist in trouble

July 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 12 July 2016: A Spanish tourist faces deportation from Myanmar over a Buddha leg tattoo that offended monks, police said Monday, in a country where the influence of religious hardliners is growing.

The man was initially detained in Bagan, an ancient town in central Myanmar where tourists flock to visit thousands of picturesque temples and pagodas.

“Monks in Bagan saw a Buddha tattoo on his right leg because he was wearing shorts. They informed us as it’s not appropriate,” a police officer in Bagan told AFP, requesting anonymity, adding that the Spaniard was promptly sent back to Yangon. Read more

Bagan bans pagoda climbs

February 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 24 February 2016: Visitors to Myanmar’s ancient capital Bagan will no longer be able to climb the venerated pagodas for a view of the country’s most famous archaeological site, following a government edict railing against “disgraceful” tourist behaviour.

The ban, which starts, 1 March, will end the daily ritual that sees hundreds of tourists and local pilgrims scaling the ancient structures to watch the sun set over a vast plain dotted with more than 2,500 Buddhist monuments.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture said the move would protect the buildings, considered holy sites by many locals, while also averting potential danger for those climbing. Read more

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