Limited Brands, the US-based owner of lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret, has withdrawn its line of bikinis bearing images of Buddha, following fierce opposition from Buddhist countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said that the company has also agreed to remove images of the product from its website and catalogue and issued a formal apology in response to a complaint by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC, USA.

The Ministry revealed that Anthony Hebron, vice president/external communications of Limited Brands Inc wrote to Sri Lanka's ambassador in Washington expressing the "sincere apologies" of Limited Brands Inc and Victoria's Secret.

The company said that there was no intent to cause disrespect to the religion or its icon.