Akon banned from Sri Lanka for “Buddha abuse” video, France 24, March 26, 2010.Buddhist fundamentalists have succeeded in banning American R&B star Akon from entering Sri Lanka after attacking a TV station sponsoring the singer's upcoming concert. What started out as a Facebook campaign against the juxtaposition of bikini-clad women and a Buddha statue, entered mainstream politics on Wednesday when the Colombo authorities announced that Akon had been denied a visa to the country.
Akon banned from Sri Lanka for “Buddha abuse” video, France 24, March 26, 2010.The private Maharaja TV station (MTV), located in Colombo, had planned to sponsor Super Fest 2010, which Akon was set to headline on 24 April. But on Monday afternoon, two bus loads of protesters turned up outside the channel's office in Union Place and began throwing stones at the building, injuring four people. The demonstrators carried home-made posters reading "Don't bring Akon to Sri Lanka" and "Chase away Sirasa FM [MTV's radio station] who are trying to disrupt the Sangha Saasana" (Buddhist message).The outrage had been brewing since January, when a Facebooker launched the group "We Hate AKON (Abuse Music Video Against Lord Buddha)". Today it has almost 15,000 fans.On Wednesday the government announced that Akon had been denied a visa to visit the country because his music was "insensitive to Sri Lanka's cultural heritage". Akon immediately made a statement apologising to Buddhists, saying he didn't realise the statue was in the video. On Thursday the Sri Lankan tourism minister, Achala Jagoda, said that the country had lost a "priceless" promotional opportunity in denying the star entry.