Line Thailand, which operates the country's most-popular mobile-messaging app, has pulled three sets of emoticon images of Buddha in supposedly inappropriate poses following online complaints.
Thousands of Thai Buddhists claimed the images were disrespectful because they portrayed the religious figure in funny, cartoon-like positions.
Led by a group called the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, about 40 Buddhist organisations worldwide launched an international protest campaign on change.org to have the recently introduced Buddha , The Mask Revolution and Saint Young
Men sets removed. The Stop Buddha Line Sticker petition had attracted about 5,700 signatures..
Line then removed the contentious images from its Thailand sticker shop . However the emoticons remain available for purchase and download elsewhere in the world.
Line Thailand said in a statement:
They are no longer available for sales in Thailand market, since they may cause discomfort in cultural aspect. Line has no intention to disparage Buddhism but we feel deeply sorry for any inconveniences that may have been caused