Monks fume over Sinhala track

Buddhist monks have expressed anger over a Sinhala song by the Sri Lankan band ‘Daddy’ as it allegedly disrespects Buddhism.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has said that the song could inflame public hatred but added that there were no moves to seek a ban on the track.

In the song titled ‘Tiken Tika’ the band had reportedly rapped an ancient Pali chant, JHU MP and government Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the media.

“Any artist should respect tradition and the religious feelings of the people. They should be very cautious when presenting these things to the public,” Ranawaka told The Sunday Leader. He added, “We are not against freedom of expression”.

Ranawaka added that the band “Daddy” had not respected tradition and had used religious chants for commercial purposes.

The band “Daddy” however had responded to the criticism on their Facebook page. “We have no intention of insult, abuse or [to] belittle any religion, language, caste or creed, and…we have the utmost respect for all of the above” .

The band went on to deny that they had rapped in Pali, saying they had employed a professional ashtaka reciter for the purpose.

In addition they defended the decision to include a stanza from the “poruwa” ceremony, saying, “The Poruwa ceremony is a very pure and powerful memory of most Sri Lankans who get married… We fully understand the special place this stanza has for Buddhists as it is used in multiple occasions to bless (ashirwada) a person or a group of people. We wouldn’t want to hide behind a curtain of negligence or pretend we didn’t understand the importance of that stanza. It is for that specific reason it is included in the first place.”

In response Ranawaka said he found that the song had not been respectful as the band members claimed.