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Akon respects Buddhism

22 March 2010 03:26 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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 By Kshanika Argent  

Aliaune Badara Akon Thiam (AKA Akon) means no disrespect to Buddhism or any race or religion and is eager to perform in Colombo according to event organizers who have secured the international R&B act.

Akon is scheduled to perform in Colombo at the SSC Stadium on April 24 in a concert that is backed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau  (SLTPB) but a Facebook group with a growing number of members claims the singer is disrespectful of Buddhism and calls for the event to be boycotted.


The protesters claim that a David Guetta music video, in which Akon is featured, is ‘abusive’ towards the Lord Buddha. The music video shows a bikini-clad woman dancing with a Buddha statue in the backdrop. 


However, speaking to Daily Mirror online, Lasantha Samarasinghe of Platinum Entertainment, the organization behind the Akon concert, stated that these claims are an attempt at tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka and will jeopardize the country’s future prospects in bringing down international artists.


Samarasinghe said, “Akon is one of the most popular artists in the international music scene at the moment and this is his first performance in the region, even India failed in its bid to secure a performance by the artist so it’s a huge event for Sri Lanka.”


He went on to state that the performance will fast-track tourism arrivals in the country as organizers expect huge crowds of tourists from India, Malaysia, the Maldives and other neighboring countries and that he has the backing of the relevant authorities and assured tight security at the event.


Samarasinghe added, “This situation needs to be handled very carefully. I will respect whatever decisions the leaders of this country may take but as a promoter of Akon, I can say that the authorities are supportive and that the artist has no concerns about performing in Colombo.”


Samarasinghe however cautioned that officials and ordinary citizens should be concerned at the message the protest is sending the world. He said, “Attempts like this paint an unfriendly image of Sri Lanka and will only make future attempts at securing such big stars more difficult. This (the protest) could be politically motivated by individuals who don’t want to see Sri Lanka prosper or it could be NGO’s or even rival event companies even who are disgruntled at me. I do know one thing, that is the concert is not about me, it’s about promoting Sri Lanka.” (Daily Mirror online)



 

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  Comments - 26

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  • Tuesday, 23 March 2010 05:38 PM

    I was just wondering how smart Sri Lankans had become when I heard that AKON was hitting town ... but, I should have seen this coming ... How stupid of me!

    Tuesday, 23 March 2010 05:45 PM

    Artists must think twice and watch what they produce.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 06:53 PM

    As a person who has traveled across both Europe and the USA I have seen a lot of people who view Buddhism not as a religion, but as a way of life.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 06:57 PM

    Saner counsel should indeed prevail, when such artists decide to use religious symbols in the making of their "art."

    Monday, 22 March 2010 07:05 PM

    Have any of you guys ever heard or read about anything that this Artist has said, disrespecting Lord Buddha? You all need to 'lighten up.' That's what a good Buddhist would do.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 07:12 PM

    We are Buddhists and we are peaceful ... Pleae people, act like Buddhists if you really care about Buddhism.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 09:27 PM

    AKON is no fool. What better way to get publicity?

    Monday, 22 March 2010 09:49 PM

    MOVE-ON LANKANS - THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN WHINING ABOUT A STUPID VIDEO CLIP!

    Monday, 22 March 2010 09:51 PM

    Yes, Buddhism is a way of life and not a God centered religion.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 10:15 PM

    Guys & gals, don't burn yourselves. No one can insult Buddhism or harm it. Be cool. Wait and see ...

    Monday, 22 March 2010 10:55 PM

    Mr. Nille, bravo & well said. I too am a buddhist, who is ashamed of people 'using' buddhism to kill and harm others. You said it perfectly.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 11:00 PM

    P R. - right on mate!

    Monday, 22 March 2010 03:50 PM

    Watch his vedio and decide yourself.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:07 PM

    this report says it self
    "The music video shows a bikini-clad woman dancing with a Buddha statue in the backdrop"

    he can cme...bt he must take pardon frm all Buddhists!!!

    learn to respect other religions!!

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:10 PM

    Mr Samarasinghe this is not a huge event for Sri Lanka, but for you. How much of money you can make by,bringing in this joker. I heard that the price of the lowest ticket is Rs 2,500. Yes true it's a huge event for you. But not for our country.

    How do you promote Tourism with this type of a event. This is only a onetime event. To promote Sri Lanka we must have long term plans. To promote Sri Lanka we should take our values to the world. You are trying to bring somebody from outside and try to promote tourism in our country. You are not promoting SL. You are promoting somebody else to become rich in one night.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:29 PM

    Or the voice may be backed by LTTE supporters ;) - See always we can do anything by simply saying that.. Poor SL! Come on ! we need not to earn money by tarnishing the culture

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:32 PM

    totally agree....Mr Samarasinghe,,we are nt selling our religion for MONEY

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:35 PM

    The last time some fanatics objected to a grand musical event by some Bollywood artistes, the event ended up with bombs being thrown at Shah Rukh Khan who has since then vowed not to even think of visiting Sri Lanka. Hope saner counsel will prevail this time.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:36 PM

    If anyone disgrace buddhism, it's those who call themselves buddhists, but threaten people with violence or death. These backward people are a shame for Sri Lanka, her people and buddhism - a religion wellknown for non-violence.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:38 PM

    i agree with chaturanga, you are promoting Akon to Sri Lanka and not Sri Lanka to the world. do we realy need such an event?

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:40 PM

    we should ask him to make a public apology for dissing Buddhism.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 04:59 PM

    Dear Akon and other international artists,

    Disrespect any of our country's religions, race, ethnicity, language or whatever of our country and expect to get treated back with the same disrespect. You or your music director did not probably see this coming when the video was made, in the west the buddhist statues are kept as ornaments ...but in Asia it is a religion, worshiped by many.

    Welcome to the sub-continent!

    Monday, 22 March 2010 05:03 PM

    I think as much as its defamatory what is portrayed in the video, I don't think killing him, like the facebook hate group is suggesting is such a great idea.

    I agree Chaturanga Sandamal that 'promoting tourism' should not be an excuse to have events like this. Ideally promoting tourism will involve people coming here to enjoy that this country has to offer.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 05:09 PM

    Let's issue a "fatwa" against him like they do in Iran.

    Monday, 22 March 2010 05:24 PM

    Government should take a decision on his concert. This may allow to happen what happened to Sharuk Khan

    Monday, 22 March 2010 05:25 PM

    this is a one-off event indeed, but it will go a long way towards showing the west that SL is not some ethiopia-like destitute country of slaves. I agree that our culture must be promoted to the world and that all religions must be respected. I believe an apology from Akon or his manager will suffice, and that throwing bombs is, well yes, NOT a very good idea. WE JUST GOT RID OF OUR IMAGE AS A WARZONE- PLEASE DONT BRING THAT IMAGE BACK!!!!!


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