A British woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm says she had to leave Facebook after being abused by Sri Lankan Buddhist extremists.
Ms Naomi Coleman, 41, from Coventry, was detained in Sri Lankan Prison for four days, in April 2014 and deported for having a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm.
In 2014 the country was ruled by former President Mahinda Rajapaksha and his family members who encouraged Buddhist extremism so that Rajapaksha family can rule Sri Lanka for ever as Buddhists are the majority voters.
Muslims, Christians and Hindus were abused by these Sinhala Buddhist extremists led by Buddhist Monks with the fullest support of Mahinda government. Defence secretary Gotha was the chief guest and unofficial leader of such extremist Buddhist group in Sri Lanka.
Following her deportation, she says she received online messages telling her she should die and burn in hell.
Ms Coleman, a Buddhist herself, said she will not return to Sri Lanka.
“But it seems there is a small percentage of people who want to cause trouble for me.
“I’m not sure if it’s because I am a woman travelling alone. But, at the moment, I wouldn’t feel safe going back.”
“They mostly seemed to be sent from Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka. They were writing that I should die and burn in hell. I came completely off Facebook for a few weeks and have now changed my name on social media.
On Wednesday, Sir Lanka’s Supreme Court said Ms Coleman’s treatment while she was in custody was “scandalous and horrifying” and awarded her compensation of 800,000 Sri Lankan rupees – about £4,000. It said there was “no legal basis” for her arrest and she had been subject to “degrading treatment” by some officers and a prison guard.
Ms Coleman, who has been a Buddhist for about 10 years, has travelled widely and continues to go to retreats in Thailand and Nepal.
She said she was “overwhelmed” by the ruling but would not be returning to Sri Lanka. ”It’s a shame, it’s a beautiful country and most of the people are very welcoming,” she said.But it seems there is a small percentage of people who want to cause trouble for me.
I’m not sure if it’s because I am a woman travelling alone. But, at the moment, I wouldn’t feel safe going back to Sri Lanka.