No Visa for AKON says govt.

So AKON’s visa has been rejected. No surprise. After yesterdays press conference by the National Sanga Council I had my money on the govt stepping in to ban AKON from coming to Sri Lanka and as predicted the govt has acceded to the demands of the extremists and once again proved that we are a de facto theocracy. Bravo! or maybe the govt had the security of its people in mind.

On the bright side of things at least we can rejoice that no innocents would get hurt and killed at the concert, for if the concert was held on the due date I also had my money on someone going postal in the name of safeguarding Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

This has been quite a learning experience, we saw the level to which the pious would swoop down to in order to “safeguard” their faith and we also saw a lot of criticism leveled against the most violent of the pious especially on the blogsphere. We do still have decent folk in this country after all. It may not be the majority but I’m confident that it will grow in numbers as the pious continue to demonstrate their affinity to violence and moblike behaviour

Grammar lessons anyone?

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7 Responses to No Visa for AKON says govt.

  1. Acromantula says:

    this is a buddhist country…so Buddhism should be given priority over all things.. so kudos to the govt. for stepping in..

    What’s the bet some one from the UN will try to get Akon to come under some Responsibility to Piss doctrine or some thing like tht..lol

    • NaughtybutNice says:

      I saw this on a friends facebook status,
      “If Siddartha didn’t mind the 3 scantly dressed daughters of “Mara” dancing around him just prior to attaining enlightenment, why are Buddhist monks fussing about scantly dressed women dancing in front of a Buddha statue??”

      I’m wondering the same… Some one should remind the folks at National Sangha council to get back to basics !!

  2. It seems that Akon has responded in this manner “I was not aware that the statue was even on the set of the video until now. I would never set out to offend or desecrate anyone’s religion or religious beliefs. I myself am a spiritual man, so I can understand why they are offended, but violence is never the answer and I am disheartened to hear about what happened yesterday in Sri Lanka.”

    The politically correct response from Akon is not a surprise, and I am sure there were people who helped him to put his thoughts in to words, even if they are his own. This is pretty much a canned response that I have heard before from similar quarters in response to similar situations that involves other religions. As Mahasen points out, it is sad that Buddhists in SL are receiving a lecture from Akon about non-violence. Akon gained some extra popularity mileage from the drama, which actually is not really deserved according to my taste, as I do not see him as a good artist or a role model from the little that I have seen. What gain the Sri Lankan Buddhist community had from the drama? Probably some egoistic satisfaction that “we got Akon to apologize, wowee” and feel good about receiving a canned response from a set-menu of politically correct responses. Apart from that, they proved Buddhism is not very different from other world religions, (followers are “offended” at slightest irreverence toward their religious symbols) and there is a established Buddhist “Church” in Sri Lanka, that has a lot of say in who can come in to this country and what can they do etc etc, which can be good thing or bad thing based on how you view it.

    In a “Voice in Colombo” blog, the blog owner is asking an open question. “Is it ok for producers of the music video, to use a Buddha statue in the backdrop of that video?” Due to the very long answer I have to give, I would actually avoid properly answering. The question itself is based on the assumption that good/bad and true/false are absolute measures. However the short incomplete answer would be that it is obviously NOT OK, given the consequences, and any wise person would avoid it. But hey, in my second thoughts, if a religious community can be provoked so easily and big uproar can be created, and then pacified as quickly by sending a canned apology few weeks later, that would be an instrument of advertising. Obviously I am answering the question from music producers point of view, and that perhaps was not the intent of voice in Colombo. Due to the long list of perspectives, I would stop at that.

    • pravnj1408 says:

      Agree with you on the Buddhist church point. I read that the architects of the Buddhist revolution during the struggle for independence (during the early 1900s mind you not during the 40s) had intentionally modeled the “new” Buddhist system on the churches in England and even on the Vatican. For example “Buddhist schools” (I’m not talking about “piriven” I’m talking about schools that teach science,history and language side by side with religion and have a “distinct Buddhist identity” – a very alien concept to Buddhism as it was practiced up until then) were created to “compete” with the mission schools. Although these actions probably led to our independence, in hindsight one cant help but question the effects of the actions of Olcott and his other “Western” educated peers like Dharmapala who were quite aware of the power that the church wielded at the time and perhaps tried to replicate a “Buddhist” version here, I’m sure they wanted to create a strong opposition against the English but the means that they resorted to are questionable. This probably led to the creation of this so called “Buddhist Church”, this type of organizational structure (schools, councils etc) clearly bear no resemblance to the early sangha councils right after Buddhas passing, these bear all the signs of a church like structure with indoctrination of children seen as a prime objective.
      This is worth being explored in future articles methinks. Hopefully i should be able to find some source material lying about. I think it was in an article by a prominent Sri Lankan sociologist but I can’t for the world remember her name!

      @Prasad:
      “Due to the long list of perspectives, I would stop at that..”

      exactly how I feel! too many dimensions to this. It is wrong (both akon and the protesters) on so many levels.

  3. Prageeth Thoradeniya says:

    I completely agree with the move for cancelling the concert and banning Akon’s entry to Sri Lanka. This will undoubtedly appease the offended and avoid any violence (such as grenades). People in this country have the right to protest against what they deem offensive. The images of bikini clad women dancing next to a Buddha statue is highly offensive to many people, and the correct response was to protest.

    HOWEVER, the way in which people protested was generally disappointing. Instead of organizing and directing their emotions in a more effective way, they resorted to name-calling, stone-throwing and defamation instead. While Buddhism doesn’t tell you to take things lying down (as many people including “Buddhist Patriots” seem to think so), Buddhism advocates the use of skillful means to overcome problems. Such a skillful solution would be to organize non-violent protests and approach the government directly (since it’s supposed to be oh so patriotic and protective of the Sinhala Buddhists).

    It is sad to see people resorting to needless violence instead, and political elements taking advantage of the situation for their personal gain.

    • pravnj1408 says:

      Lets hope they come to their senses the next time!

    • @Prageeth. Thank you for your sensible comment from the conservative side of the affairs. You might not like, and I may not be quite correct in labeling your views “conservative” without knowing anything about you apart from this single comment. So forgive me if I am mistaken.

      The purpose of this forum should be to engage is an intellectual discourse with people who believe that building social structures around religion is good, and prove them wrong. In order to engage in such a healthy conversation we need someone like you from the other-side, and not a name calling, filth uttering, stone throwing mob. So I am glad that you are here and reading this stuff, and making comments.

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