Sri Lankan President Sirisena slams Enrique concert

President Sirisena criticised the ‘uncivilised behaviour’ of the audience at the pop star’s recent show saying such events won’t be allowed

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday strongly condemned the "uncivilised behaviour" of fans during a recently held live concert by Latin American pop idol Enrique Iglesias here, saying the incident was an attack on the country’s cultural values.

A Sri Lankan man checks the website of the event management company that organised the concert in Colombo
A Sri Lankan man checks the website of the event management company that organised the concert in Colombo. Pic/AFP

Terming the crowd’s behaviour as ‘crazy acts’, Sirisena said such events will not be allowed to take place in future. "I was shocked by the behavior at the concert in addition to the high cost of tickets. I will not allow such shows in this country in future," Sirisena said while addressing a gathering in the eastern district of Ampara.

"This is most uncivilised behaviour that goes against our culture," the president said. A young Enrique fan had thrown her bra at the star while another young female fan rushed to the stage to be kissed by him.

"These are not things we can be happy about. Younger generation going into such crazy acts destroying our culture," Sirisena said.

The December 20 show was organised by an event management company partnered by two of Sri Lanka’s veteran cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

Sirisena offered Sangakkara the post of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain, the day cricketing icon retired from the test cricket in August.

"I know I will face criticism for saying this, it is not the young girls who misbehaved who need to be punished but the organisers," Sirisena said.

The event management company has also run into problems with the Colombo Municipal Council who accuses them of not having paid the entertainment tax on the event. The council is to file a court action.

Fans had paid prices ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($350) to witness a live one-hour performance by Enrique at a rugby stadium in Colombo, which was part of the pop star’s world tour, "Love and Sex".

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