Myanmar tries New Zealand man for Buddha ad

2014-12-18 16:11
New Zealand citizen Philip Blackwood, who is accused of insulting Buddhism in Myanmar. (Gemunu Amarasinghe, AP)

New Zealand citizen Philip Blackwood, who is accused of insulting Buddhism in Myanmar. (Gemunu Amarasinghe, AP)

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Yangon - A New Zealand bar manager and two Myanmar men have pleaded innocent to charges they insulted religion by posting an advertisement with an image of a pink Buddha wearing headphones.

Philip Blackwood, general manager of the V Gastro Bar, was arrested last week after posting the online advertisement for the bar in Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon. The charges carry a penalty of up to two years in prison.

The advertisement was removed and an apology was posted, but Blackwood and the two men were arrested. Four prosecution witnesses testified at their first trial session Thursday, and defence witnesses are to take the stand on 26 December.

About 90% of Myanmar's people are Buddhist. Perceived insults to the religion are taken seriously.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  myanmar  |  religion
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