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Sri Lanka bans Akon over insensitive video

The Sri Lankan government has cancelled US pop singer Akon's visa because one of his videos brought "disrespect" to Buddhism. The video shows a group of bikini clad women dancing by a pool with a statue of Buddha clearly visible in the background.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2010 20:56 IST

The Sri Lankan government has cancelled US pop singer Akon's visa because one of his videos brought "disrespect" to Buddhism.

The singer, who had recently visited India to record a song for Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Ra.one', was to perform in
Sri Lanka on April 24.

Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the Cabinet on Wednesday ratified the government's decision to reject a visa to pop singer as one of his videos brought disrespect to Buddhism.

Akon has apologised for the video, which shows a group of bikini clad women dancing by a pool with a statue of Buddha clearly visible in the background.

Three people were injured after protesters hurled stones at the offices of the Maharaja Organisation, who were
sponsoring the concert. Several protesters were later arrested by police after the incident.

A Buddhist Monk organisation called Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (National Sangha Conference) has reportedly
claimed responsibility for the protests.

Director General of Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle told reporters on Wednesday that the police was investigating the incident.

Hulugalle condemned the efforts in certain quarters to drag the government into the controversy.