Sri Lanka plans to bar entry to R&B singer Akon
COLOMBO:Sri Lanka says it won't issue a visa for R&B singer Akon for a planned concert next month, following outrage over his video showing scantily clad women near a Buddha statue.
The government made the decision because the video "triggered a lot of disappointment among Buddhists all over the world" and because some of Akon's lyrics are not suitable for public performance, the government information department said.
The Senegalese singer's video "Sexy Chick" shows women in bikinis dancing at a pool party with a Buddha statue occasionally visible in the background.
On Monday, hundreds of protesters hurled stones at the office of a private broadcaster which is the media sponsor for the planned April 24 concert. Four workers were injured in the attack and the building was damaged.
Concert promoter Lasantha Samarasinghe said Wednesday he will ask the government to reconsider its decision, adding that the concert would boost tourism and help the country's economy. "We are going to appeal and I hope there will be a favorable answer," Samarasinghe said.
Some 70 percent of Sri Lanka's 20 million people are Buddhists, and the faith has guaranteed prominence under the constitution.