Myanmar Bar Manager Accused Of Insulting Buddhism

December 13, 2014

A New Zealand bar manager in Myanmar has been arrested for allegedly insulting Buddhism after posting an online advertisement showing a psychedelic image of Buddha wearing headphones, police said Friday.

The offense carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

Police arrested Philip Blackwood on Wednesday along with two Myanmar nationals, including the bar’s owner, Tun Thurein, and an employee. Authorities then shut the V Gastro Bar, a tapas bar and lounge, which had opened just two weeks earlier in an upscale Yangon neighborhood.

The image, which shows a neon pink Buddha wearing DJ-style headphones, was posted on the bar’s Facebook page, and quickly spread online. An official from the Religious Department filed a complaint that led to the arrests, said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to the media.

(Jakarta Post)