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z_p27-enriques-historic

Sri Lanka seems to have some troubles / controversies with international artists in recent history. From  what I remember, Concert with Shah Ruck Khan and some other Bollywood stars bombed, Government  denied Visa for Akon , IIFA award ceremony which intended be a PR boost back fired following protests in  Tamil Nadu and many A-Listers missed the event which lead it become a loss at the end . Hari Haran  canceled a concert again due to the protests in his homeland. But however the Sri Lankan episode of Sex  and Love world tour of Enrique’s  can be crowned as the most troubled and controversial event (At least of t his century ) happened in Sri Lanka involving an international Star

 

It started with extremely poor organizing work by event management firm. People waited hours in ques before the show which delayed around 3 hrs . Also there are complaints against organizers for not providing promised facilities for higher price tickets. All of these make a huge buzz in social networks until much awaited / delayed show started. Neither audience or the people who was having fun on social networks didn’t knew “The Best Part yet to Begun”

At the show a Sri Lankan girl climbed to the stage and shows her affection to the star by hugging him and he gave her a kiss in return. Part of the society sees this a usual innocent act, while others criticized   it based on their Cultural, moral values. Unfortunately some of critics crossed the line and took it into personal level, some politically motivated writers dragged her father, who is a prominent figure of the country into this criticism which totally unacceptable according to my believes

Another event which is a more shocking to conservative section (The Nationalists, Sinhala-Buddhists..etc) happened at the concert as well . What everyone saw was “A Bra thrown towards Enrique” imagination did the rest and it now being described as “ A girl threw her bra towards the Artist”

As one could expect from a society which sees Girl Hugging / Kissing her favorite star as a grave sin , much more criticism attracted to this but fortunately no one knew “Who did it” . So No personal attacks for this

With the  time passing by people got new topics to discuss and both of above become Yesterday’s News  , until the President Maithripala Sirisena intervened yesterday by making a harsh statement against organizers and verbally banning future events which prone to attract similar behaviors . International media Including BBC , TIMES, SKY, Independent , NDTV, TOI and many more wrote about the statement of President in a manner which could potentially label Sri Lanka as backward country with unhuman punishments like some Arab countries

President statement also creates a Social media storm. Humors to harsh criticisms are everywhere including song competitions, memes , suggestions for making Ban work ..etc . Unlike actual events where two sides were visible, everyone criticized or mocked the president over this , which I believe happed due to below reasons . Not all reasons are applicable for everyone, but one way or another everyone had a reason to criticize president

It’s not his damn business : In a democratic country entertainment items are independent from the government agenda . Policies and institutions are there to make sure the Law of the Land is upheld but content of a particular show rarely become concern of the government . Ground reality of Sri Lanka was  bit different than this but I cannot  remember any situation where the Highest Ranking person of the government publicly discussing about a specific event . This actually brings  a shame to his position which intended for overseeing much bigger and important things . When a government want to shut down something it has the  authority which can be executed via the individuals or institutions who resides in much lower positions in the hierarchy , even though it against the freedom of people

He has much better things to attend at the moment: Government nor the country not sailing smoothly. There are issues which even voters of the government urging them to attend while opposition shouts about separate set of issues . Regardless of political views certain issues are there we faced a country as well . For all of these attention of the president is rather delayed or sometimes not getting at all . When president focusing on trivial things where much more pressing issue are there, frustration of general public is obvious

It’s NOT what he promised to represent : Rajapaksha stood as the more hardline Nationalist authoritarian  leader compared to Sirisena . Democracy and freedom is promised by him and section of people who backed him expected him to deliver it .So far he was actually successful in this arena  . But this statement was a  complete opposite to what he promised  and given the authority vested him by the constitution fear of he making a U turn is justified as well . I wonder the how UNP –main partner of the government justify this statement of president ( Well I meant the few people with some principles )

The international image: The image international media  projecting over this much more worse than what actually being said . President used the term “madu wali gen thalima “ as a figure of speech but some media portrayed it as an actual punishment . Some actually explain the context in the body , but headings are deceiving .Also all most all articles contains a  paragraph about how conservative Sri Lankan society is .  International media may be stereotyping Asian countries but as a seasoned politician Mr Sirisena should have known better . When the country trying convey a message being more liberal , inclusive society to attract tourists an investors , being labeled as backward country where president involve for trivial things in harsh manner , won’t make a good impression at all

 

It supposed to be Love and Sex , but as you can see it became Love Sex and Hate  !