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 Post subject: Buddhist Sri Lanka Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:09 am 
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Buddhist Sri Lanka Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch

Thursday, March 25, 2010
@ LL / Sources Agencies


Akon denied Lankan visa

Rapper and R&B singer Akon will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka for a sell-out concert scheduled in April after the powerful Buddhist clergy and extremist political party Helaurumaya took offence to one of his videos. The Sri Lankan Cabinet ratified the government decision to reject visa to US-Senegalese origin Akon — if and when he applied — on the basis that one of his videos brought disrespect to Buddhism. The announcement came soon after the MTV/MBC head office was attacked by a group of armed thugs attached to a notorious politician for organizing the event.

The video in question Sexy Bitch shows women in bikinis dancing around the statue of Buddha at a pool party on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Singer Akon said that he was not aware about the statue being on his set, when he shot the video. Following the decision by the Sri Lanka Government to deny entry visa to Akon, the disheartened singer released a statement saying, “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 in Sri Lanka”.

Sri Lanka is an overwhelmingly Buddhist country. Its Constitution decrees Buddhism should be given precedence over all other religion. The Buddhist clergy is powerful and all dates and events associated with the life of Buddha are observed with piety. However the Government was gracious enough to invite the Leader of the Myanmar Junta who’s alleged to have committed atrocities against civilians and Buddhist Monks in Myanmar.
Government’s decision to deny a visa to Akon on the grounds of blasphemy was crticised by modarates as unwise and not according to the principles of the Buddhist Philosophy.

Grammy-nominated Akon was to perform in Sri Lanka next month and a tourism drive was also launched to attract fans from Asia and other regions for the concert. According to AFP, the show was reported to have sold out with tickets priced at Rs. 25,000 (217 $).


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 Post subject: The Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:40 am 
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The Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?
Is it all about politics, and nothing but politics?



What is more disgusting, more offensive – to witness ‘scantily clad’ girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue thousands of miles away, or to witness, right in front of your own eyes, a Government dancing to the tune of a bunch of ignorant people who seem to have lost perspective and direction and seem to be denigrating Buddhism so openly?

@ Source/ GroundView / Thursday, March 25, 2010

As a nation, we have reached the stage where the kind of absurd protests that take place in the name Buddhism need to be critically analyzed. There is a great danger in not doing so, because obviously, the impression that is sent out by the silence of those who are disturbed by such protests is that of ‘acceptance’; acceptance of every barbaric thing done in the name of Buddhism, mostly by politicians who hide behind religions.

This is a classic case of silence amounting to acceptance, as this is how silence is interpreted with regard to issues of such nature; issues which involve religion and politics. And these are the same people who cry out thereafter that the whole world is against it, about conspiracy, about Western threats directed at Buddhism and the predominantly Sinhala-Buddhist State, Sri Lanka.

There seems to be a complete misunderstanding of Lord Buddha’s teaching here, when ‘Buddhists’ and in particular ‘Buddhist monks’ appeal to a Government in such an aggressive fashion, calling for the rejection of Akon’s visa. Surely, this is not the way in which Prince Siddhartha, and later Lord Buddha, dealt with matters that involved controversial questions involving women. Surely, the kind of anger shown by those protestors certainly go against the fundamental teachings of Buddhism; compassion, equanimity, the noble-eightfold path, the importance of forgiving, etc. This goes against the most fundamental and invaluable lesson of the Buddhist philosophy.

Given the kind of extreme compassion that the philosophy of Buddhism teaches us, it is certainly not incorrect to call the scenes about which one read and saw recently, to be a reflection of a kind of fundamentalism that goes against the entire Buddhist philosophy; a kind of extremism and fundamentalism that could soon turn into the kind of violent Islamic extremism and fundamentalism seen in the modern world; which is again a sad case of a peaceful religion being misinterpreted to suit the needs of a group of misguided and ignorant people. Generally, we see these signs and tend to shrug it off, believing that similar incidents would not happen again, that these are actions of a lunatic fringe, a small one, things that happen only during election time. But this is what we thought when Sharuk Khan’s concert was attacked, did we not? We believed that it would never happen again. But there is, there seems to be, no end to this.

But if one looks more critically, the danger is this: that even though it was a relatively small group that resorted to such action, that group is extremely influential today, so much so that such action has received Government approval. The decision to reject Akon’s visa application – was not only the stamp of rejection on Akon’s visa, but more seriously, the stamp of approval on the kind of intolerance and extreme attitude shown by those who are supposedly very sensitive ‘Sinhala Buddhists’. In short, the fundamentalist attitude shown by some has received State approval.

And take note, for a moment, of the kind of hypocrisy and absurdity shown by a Government that rushes to conclude that girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue offended Buddhists and their sensibilities. Think about the kind of persons in Cabinet who would have met to discuss this matter and ‘ratify’ the decision to not grant visa to Akon. What of their respect for Buddhism and other moral and ethical considerations? If not for one’s own political advantage, do these people really care about Buddhism in the first place? And are they not the people who embraced Myanmar’s General Than Swe? Or, the kind of people who benefit, today, from those who were responsible for the attack on the Dalada Maligawa? If the likes of Pillayan and Karuna who were instrumental in carrying out that attack can be forgiven, surely, Akon can be easily forgiven? Why is it that there is forgiveness only when Karuna and Pillayan apologize and capitulate, and not when Akon apologizes? Is it then about Akon, or is it about his local sponsors? And so we return to that obvious question; is it all about politics, and nothing but politics?

This comes especially at a time when the teachings of the Buddha – the Buddhist philosophy – should have been utilized for the greater good of the people, for ethnic reconciliation purposes, for spreading the message of tolerance, of harmony, of peace, or of forgiving even your most brutal enemy. The Government, for numerous political reasons, seems to be going with the tide, unable to take a principled stand, unable to draw the line; unable or unwilling? Even the Mahanayakas seem to be tight-lipped, more concerned with matters relating to politics, and not Buddhism.

What is more disgusting, more offensive – to witness ‘scantily clad’ girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue thousands of miles away, or to witness, right in front of your own eyes, a Government dancing to the tune of a bunch of ignorant people who seem to have lost perspective and direction and seem to be denigrating Buddhism so openly?


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