Hotel managers arrested over ‘Nirvana style’ dinner eventView(s):
No Buddha statue,no association to Buddhism, says management
Two managers of a five-star hotel in Moragalla, Beruwala have been remanded over organising a theme night with a ‘Nirvana style’ dinner at what was described as the ‘cozy Buddha Bar lounge’ meant for a group of French tourists.
The arrests were made after members of the Bodu Bala Sena, an organisation working for the protection of Buddhism, received word of the dinner and stormed the hotel. Kalutara Chief Magistrate Aruna Alutge ordered managers U.A.D. Saman and M. Faleel to be remanded till January 28. The food and beverage managers of the recently opened Cinnamon Bay Hotel were arrested by the Alutgama Police.They were charged for hurting religious feelings.
Ven. Aluthwewa Ananda Thera, in-charge of Bodu Bala Sena’s public communications said that on January 21, a call was received informing him of the event. “The event order that was sent to the Bodu Bala Sena via fax, stated that Amila Amanpura of tour operator Walkers Tours can be contacted for event booking,” said Ven. Ananda Thera, adding there limited seats as it was fully booked by foreigners.
The thera said the group of monks was initially not allowed to enter the lounge.
“There was a Buddha statue, lotus flowers and candles lit. Foreigners too confirmed that they enjoyed the nirvana-style dinner. These styles of restaurants are seen abroad, but we won’t allow them in this country,” the Thera said.
Cinnamon Hotels Spokesman Dilip Mudadeniya said that the event order document was for the internal staff in order to create the atmosphere.
“This is an internal document and the staff was to be briefed on the atmosphere that night, which was fusion music and food. There was no such Buddha statue and no such rituals and there was no association to Buddhism,” he said.
Mr. Mudadeniya said the hotel management regrets mentioning the words Buddha bar lounge in the internal event order and regrets the incident.
“There are seven restaurants in the hotel, and there is no such lounge by the name of Buddha Bar,” he said.
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