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My view of Sri Lanka was spoiled by the peachy backsides of tourists obsessed with their social media feeds

A recent trip to Sri Lanka reminded me of that well known Buddhist proverb: “If you visit a temple but do not take a selfie, did it actually happen?” At these sacred sites, tourists are free to take photographs – as indeed I saw a delegation of enthusiastic monks doing at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy – but you are asked to please not pose with statues of the Buddha, or be photographed with your back to him. Naturally, I observed several western tourists, most of them young, ignoring this request.

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