MYANMAR, formerly Burma, is growing in popularity for travellers wanting a path-less-travelled experience in Southeast Asia. But as tourism booms, there is something tourists need to be very wary of.
Myanmar is a devoutly religious country. The vast majority are Theravāda Budhist and they take their faith very seriously. So much so that under Myanmar law, insulting religion is a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment.
This week, a Russian tourist was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour for wearing shoes inside several pagodas — Buddhist temples — in Bagan, an ancient city in central Myanmar.
“She would be given warnings and sent back to her hotel, but she kept returning and still wearing shoes on the pagodas. The locals couldn’t stand it anymore, which is why they opened a case against her under Section 295,” First Lieutenant Myo Nyunt of the Tourist Police Force told Burmese-language local news outlet, Eleven, as quoted by English-language Asian news service, Coconuts.
Section 295 of Myanmar’s Penal Code states it is a criminal offence to intentionally insult religion or religious beliefs.
Full story: News,com.au
News, updates, and information on travel and tourism in Myanmar/Burma.
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