A cricket song supporting Sri Lanka in the World Cup, but carrying taunts and threats against other teams, including India, was taken off air after President Mahinda Rajapaksa found it offensive.
The music video, commissioned by a mobile phone company and a team sponsor, symbolically threatened India with a global warming related catastrophe from the heat generated by the local team’s performance; the song talked about the melting of ice on top of mountains in India.
Australians had it worse and were reduced to bird feed, while New Zealanders were threatened that their jaws will be cracked.
Sri Lanka’s former ruler, United Kingdom, was understandably not spared. One line said sixes from the local team will rattle the tiles and damage the furniture in the Queen’s palace.
Fellow islanders from West Indies were threatened that coconut palms on their islands will be smashed. Even the gods were not left alone.
What could have clearly irked Rajapaksa even more, was that it referred to the Sinhalese mythological abode of gods and said its glasses will be shattered by sixes hit by the Lankan team.
Buddhism is the central religion here and the government is mandated by the Constitution to give it precedence over all other religions.
The song's more than three minutes long and is in Sinhala, with few lines in Tamil at the end.
Apparently, Rajapaksa heard the song during the Sri Lanka-Canada match in Hambantota and gave an earful to the Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Soon after, the state media was directed not to air or telecast the song.
Most of private media also decided not to broadcast it. Sri Lanka authorities have already run into trouble with fans after banning music and placards at match venues.
Even the famous `papare’ drums were blacklisted. But subsequently, police relaxed the ban on placards, banners and drums.