Buddha bar upsets Swedish Hindus

A restaurant in the Swedish capital has removed references to Buddha on its menu after protests from Hindu groups and the Embassy of Sri Lanka, a spokesman said Thursday.

Hindus living in Sweden said the Buddha Dining and Bar in downtown Stockholm insulted their religion by attaching the name Buddha to some of its dishes. They also objected to the name of the restaurant and the use of pictures of Buddha and Hindu gods.

Restaurant spokesman Juha Airen on Thursday said all references to Buddha were removed from the menu and a letter of an apology was sent to the Hindu groups last week.

Airen said the restaurant was not considering a name change.

Protest leader Shashikant Sharma said he accepted the restaurant's apology, but sent a letter to various government agencies to notify them of "insults to our gods" by both small enterprises and multinational firms.

"The authorities have to become better. A restaurant cannot be named anything. A restaurant that sells meat and calls itself Buddha, it's not appropriate," Sharma said in a phone interview. "You cannot violate the gods. This must stop."

In April, Swedish Hindus objected to an advertisement for furniture maker Ikea showing a toilet seat adorned with a meditating Buddha. Ikea apologized.