Kandy - A
Sri Lankan court on Wednesday jailed and fined an Australian streaker for
indecent exposure during a Test between the nations, an act
which local Buddhist priests found offensive.
The man, identified as Alexander James from Queensland, was jailed
for one week for his naked run across the ground in Pallekele near the
picturesque town of Kandy during Tuesday's washed-out final session on Day 1.
"He was charged on two counts - drunken behaviour at a public place
and indecent exposure," an official at the Kandy magistrate's court told
AFP by telephone.
"He was also fined 3 000 rupees ($20)."
Streaking at sporting events is rare in conservative Sri Lanka and
police stepped up security after the naked escapade at Pallekele
International Stadium, where Sri Lanka are taking on Australia in the
Footage showed the man jump the fence, strip, then run across the
covers brought on to protect the ground from rain that had halted play.
As an armed police commando tried to tackle him, he ran off the ground
but was arrested later.
A police official said they pressed charges in part because his
actions had hurt the sensibilities of Buddhist priests in Kandy, home to
one of Sri Lanka's holiest shrines, the Temple of the Tooth.
Sri Lanka is highly sensitive to perceived insults to Buddhism, with
authorities deporting a British nurse in 2014 for sporting a Buddha
tattoo on her arm.
Sri Lanka barred another British tourist from entering the island in
March 2013 for showing "disrespect" to the religion by having a similar
In August 2012 three French tourists were sentenced to six months in
jail, which was suspended for five years, for kissing a Buddha statue in
what the authorities considered a sign of disrespect.