Sri Lanka revokes ‘rogue’ bikini ban at popular beach resort as tourism bosses say ‘nothing to worry about’
Sri Lanka’s tourism bosses have stepped in to revoke a beach bikini ban imposed earlier this year by ‘rogue’ police officers at a popular south-coast resort.
France24 reports that “signs erected by local police at Habaraduwa Beach, 130 kilometres south of the capital Colombo, depicted a pair of western women in bikinis crossed out with a red ‘X’”.
The sign said that “according to Sri Lankan culture, please dress in an appropriate suit,” and declared that bikinis were “improper”.
But a senior police spokesman in Colombo said “local law enforcers had not sought approval for the signs, which stirred controversy after going viral on social media”.
The good news is that the Tourism Development Authority has now revoked the ban.
It says that “dress-code policing is unneeded and unwarranted for tourists enjoying the scenic beaches of Sri Lanka”.
The ban hit the headlines worldwide when it was imposed, apparently in deference to conservative local views that consider bikinis immodest.
Says France24: “Sri Lanka does not allow visitors in revealing clothing—including men in shorts—to visit Buddhist temples and other religious sites.
“Foreigners with clothing, tattoos or jewellery depicting the Buddha have seen tourists deported from the island for ‘hurting the sensibilities’ of Sri Lankans.”