COLOMBO - Three men who exposed themselves near a Sri Lankan temple and posted the images online were arrested on Wednesday (Sep 26), as a social media "mooning" fad sweeps the island and angers its conservative Buddhist clergy.
The trio, aged between 18 and 19, were accused of desecrating a Buddhist site after they pulled down their pants for a cheeky picture against the backdrop of the famous Sigiriya rock, a UNESCO site set in the middle of a jungle in central Sri Lanka.
The images of the trio sparked a flurry of complaints from Buddhist monks after they were uploaded to Facebook, as they had taken the photos from a smaller rock temple overlooking the Sigiriya rock fortress. They were quickly tracked down by the police.
It is believed the trio were inspired by "Cheeky Exploits", an Instagram account with more than a quarter of a million followers that features bare-bottomed pictures from beauty spots around the world.
They will be prosecuted Thursday under the country's obscenity laws which prohibit lewd behaviour in the Buddhist-majority island, particularly near religious sites.
Similar images uploaded by other "mooners" from landmarks around the country were being hastily deleted Wednesday
One man, who bared his bottom to Sri Lanka's parliament, deleted a widely-shared picture from his profile amid the police crackdown.