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YANGON, Myanmar – A Myanmar court has sentenced a New Zealand bar manager and his business associates to two years and six months in prison for insulting Buddhism over a flyer that showed a psychedelic depiction of Buddha wearing headphones.
Blackwood, 32, Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin were given two years of hard labor for insulting religion and six months for disobeying an order from a public servant.
The trial of V Gastro manager Blackwood, bar owner Tun Thurein and employee Htut Ko Ko Lwin came as the predominantly Buddhist nation grapples with a surge of religious nationalism — including violence against members of the minority Muslim community.
The three were arrested in December after the image was used to promote a tapas bar and lounge.