President slams Enrique’s Colombo concert

Maithripala EnriquePresident Maithripala Sirisena today slammed the organizers of the Enrique Iglesias concert staged in Colombo saying it had a negative impact on local culture and tradition.

Speaking at an event in Ampara, the President noted that the December 20th (2015) concert saw some girls removing their undergarments and throwing it towards the singer while one girl got on stage and kissed him.

The President noted his displeasure at liqueur being served free to those who purchased the most expensive tickets.

Tickets were sold at between Rs, 5000 and Rs. 35,000 for the concert but fans who purchased the Rs. 35,000 tickets were unhappy at the facilities provided to them.

President Sirisena accused local authorities of failing to make proper inquiries before the concert was given approval and insisted that in future he will take measures to ensure such events are not approved.

“I need to say these things. As a Sinhalese Buddhist I cannot refrain from expressing my views. I will speak out when our traditions and culture is harmed,” he said.

The President said that usually people will punish the girls for their behavior at the concert but he feels the punishment should be given to the organizers.

Sirisena said that some people organise events for the sake of making money but fail to understand not everything is about the money.

Live Events Sri Lanka headed by former top cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena organised the Enrique Iglesias concert in Sri Lanka, the biggest chart topping star to perform in Sri Lanka so far.

Enrique Iglesias performed at the CR & FC grounds as part of his ‘Sex and Love’ world tour. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. What a load of crap. Sri Lankans have many indiscretions. It’s ok to rape or murder children but it is seen as sacrilegious to throw one’s undergarment all in the name of good fun. There are many predominantly buddhist countries where women throw their underwear and you don’t see them making such a fuss. I applaud the organisers for taking the time and making the effort to promote the destination by bringing such entertainers. It makes SL more noticed. Whether they served alcohol or not, people would bring some with them…again all in the name of good fun. Look at the way buddhist priests behave and what happens, lets dig deep….what buddhist nation???????????!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Get to the root of the problem you idiots.. It’s simply disgusting to see idiots like you mouthing off on forums without getting to the crux of the matter.. Think about it and see. I see two main issues here. Organising concerts here in Sri Lanka, I don’t see any issues with it. Did the organisers plan for these things to happen? Think!!!! This throwing of the undergarments was not instigated by the organisers or artist ne? The girls themselves took it upon them to do it themselves. As for the girl who jumped up there and kissed him, who did it? Did Enrique call her up and kiss her or did she throw herself at him?? Again its clear here that this is completely an issue with the darn women here who couldnt behave according to how they should behave. Whose fault is that?!? That they couldnt control themselves? Our idiots cant seem to realise that the problem lies with the women who did this. Who are to blame? Enrique or parents??? The effort behind this is to promote Sri Lanka and its branding. It would have been a faultless show if these women had behaved and security factor was in place and had the artist arrived on time which of the last two are logistical issues. Kumar and Mahela went out of the way to apologise on the behalf of live events.. They are big hearted men.. And no I am not a blasted cricket fan.. You morons who cant see the absolute truth cant handle it.. You just want an excuse to voice your baseless thoughts and make a hue and cry about bullshit. Did you idiots also ever realise that this remark was made by our president in a meeting consisting of conservative monks? This was purely for political mileage. Dont get me wrong, I still think he is a leader just because he was chosen by a majority of the people. He is due that respect as a leader just because he was chosen and not because he deserves it. If he does not deserve it, the next elections will have a say! But I also do understand the importance of votes for him. I dont blame him for that statement in the context of the actual meeting he was in at the time he made that comment. Just stop bitching and bawling about issues that you cant seem too actually understand and get to the crux of the matter.

  3. Wonderful, I wonder what is more uncivilized, his remarks or the behavior of the female fans in question. He sounds like he wants to join the Burmese Mabatha party.

  4. To all the shitty westerners commenting here! Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist culture and we wanna keep it that way! We do not want savage cultures as of most western culture today are. As the president, he has made the right comment to the public to raise awareness about the shitty western culture that foreign countries try to nurture secretly in this country. President made a statement to Sri Lankans not shitty westerners.

    • You obviously have not studied your scriptures. Now is a good time to meditate and examine your SELF/Ego my “Buddhist” friend. You seem to have a little to much of it.

  5. I’m not actually a fan of him but a lot of females are. No one can be blamed if the girls threw their underware at him. The organisers and the artist cannot be responsible for it, for sure, as this was not compulsory when the ticket were purchased! It was their wish. Maybe as a Buddhist country a lot might look at in a different way but we should not go on and on about this. The girls parents will look after this with the girls. There are a lot of illigal stuff happening and no one bothers looking at putting a stop to them. I’m a Buddhist myself and maybe its not a correct thing to do by throwing undergarments but then it was the wish of the girl! She also should have been more careful but these are die hard fans and it is hard to control your feelings and imotions when an international star is in front of you. If it was J Lo and and guy went up on stage and got a kiss, he will be a hero but as this was a girl, she is a whore! We need to be more broad minded. All in all, I feel that we shouldn’t harp on this and let it go. Maybe we should start on getting the drugs off the streets, which will be more beneficial for parents in the long run… and Mahela & Sanga, don’t you guys have enough dough as it is? Keep the respect that you guys have earned all these years in the community and not get involved with anything and everything that you guys think can make money. Don’t loose the respect but try and use that to help people and the country move forward.

    • I appreciate you mahela and sanga is not responsible for bra throwing and is the fault of we needed to explain to others.

  6. Anyways, we have an uneducated president.Typical sri lankan , who is going after stupid gossip spoken by local people.Dear president , nothing so bad happened at the concert.that girl was kissed on the cheek, and may be if any girl really threw an under garment….that girl is stupid….Dont try to make our country look cheap to the world.Open your eyes….and look around properly at things , and then comment…..because all of these complaints , are 90% false

    • Do not forget that the . President is a father of the Nation.
      He would not question if it has been done in a private hotel for private guests.The performance was done at a State Land Leased out to a Sports Club for a nominal sum for a specific purpose.

  7. President’s reaction is over the limit. Is Sri Lanka going to introduce Sharia Law? Just leave young people to do as they please as long as they don’t violate the law. It is no big deal.

  8. Mahela and Sanga should keep themselves away from such cheap activities. If they want to make money there are better avenues to do just takes a matter of few hours to destroy the hard earned respect over the years.

  9. Mr. President, it is not right to blame the singer or the organizing committee, they did their job right. It is the the woman who threw the bra at the singer who should be responsible for her act. Her ill-descipline should not be directed at the singer or the organizing committee. The woman who threw the bra at the singer reflect her upbringing and the quality of morals she was raised in. BLAME HER! NOT THE SINGER! NOT THE ORGANIZER.
    On the other hand, we have seen how women , both middle age and senior, reach politicians’ hands and arms to kiss them during and after political rallies. If “kissing is a wrong act”, it should not be illustrated at all levels, including political rallies. At least, we can be happy that there were no violence exhibited in this concert like that happens at political rallies. If you want to stop the opportunity that Sri Lankan lovers get to expose them to the international music biz just because of a “kiss”, STOP THE POLITICAL RALLIES THAT ILLUSTRATE EXTREME VOILENCE AT FIRST!

  10. Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena,
    Your statement that the organisers of a recent concert by a pop star in Colombo should be “whipped with toxic stingray tails” because it was “uncivilized,” is the correct judgment that has been made against those who in recent times, have, under the disguise of entertainment introduced low Western cultures into Sri Lanka which have begun to destroy the serenity and pureness of our humble people and the longstanding Buddhist culture which we have CHERISHED and has been an example to the world, since ancient times. When the Whiteman was in the darkage – we were a civilized nation. But that is NOT enough Excellency President. Look below at the guys who are the organizers:
    Yasser Aboulamayem, CCC – Etisalat Lanka; Paddy Withana, Acting Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Shaq -CEO, Live Events, B. Premalal- Chairman, Prime Lands Group, Chaminda de Silva-MD, Continental Insurance and Chalaka Gajabahu, CEO, EBC Radio.
    It is also reported in the media that two of Sri Lanka’s popular cricketers – Kumar Sangakkara’s and Mahela Jayawardene, owners of Live Events Company have been the main organizers in addition to the above persons. Further, it is reported The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) today alleged that a ‘huge tax fraud’ (nearly Rs. 30 million) had been committed on the income earned from the Latin Musical Idol Enrique Iglesias’s “Sex and Love Tour” live concert held last Sunday at the CR&FC Grounds. Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura said this fraud had been revealed after an investigations carried out at the concert grounds by CMC staff. But the CMC Commissioner failed to explain the involved and questionable role played by His Lordship the May Year of Colombo. HE. President Maithripala Sirisena, you just saying – “I don’t advocate that these uncivilized women who removed their brassieres should be beaten with toxic stingray tails, but those who organised such an event should be,” Your statement – This is most uncivilised behaviour that goes against our culture,” is most heartwarming, but you should NOT stop at that Sir.
    As the President, you have all the powers to take immediate action against these “RASCALS” both by instigating legal and official “due process” have committed these crimes against of culture and traditions and to make sure that they are brought to book before the law without delay. The Acting Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau should be suspended from work and sacked after an inquiry for arbitrarily partnering with this group and also has to declare how much funds he had allocated from STPB without “due process” and approval. Moreover the Police Intelligence should set in place an inquiry to find out how many kgs of Herion, Kerala ganja and other drugs were marketed/sold before, during and after the concert at the grounds.
    If your feelings are TRUE and you oppose the spreading of this “Shit” culture in Sri Lanka, you should prove yourself by acting fast and showing results to the Sri Lanka Nation who look up to you now for redress. The concert events and your statements have been broadcasted worldwide and spiraled in the web and internet. The message in promoting the concert was “HEAR WE GO SRI LANKA – WE CAN DANCE EVEN LEWED AT OPEN AIR CONCERTS. THIS IS YAHAPALANAYA. But with your statement/speech today, your image and the country’s image message is – SRI LANKA HAS A VERY BAD PRESIDENT WHO DOES NOT ALLOW THE YOUNGER GENERATION TO ACT ACCORDING TO MODERN TIMES OR USE NARCOTICS AS A FREE NATION. Let the world know that President Maithripala Sirisena is NOT the President of an uncivilised Sri Lanka, but the President of a Civilized Nation called Sri Lanka.
    Noor Nizam. Political and Peace Activist & Political Communication Researcher and former SLFP District Organizer – Trincomalee District.

  11. The President is not aware! its not the Artist who wants the underwere removed . its volantary acts of the Female Fans! its not legitimate to critizise the visiting Artist . Srilanka has lost its Modest culture. its not the Srilanka what it was thirty years ago. thru Modern Media Youg People has Changed.
    its absolutely a Matter for Budubala sena !! our Moral Apostle of the Nation

  12. if any laws have been broken let proper channels handle the matter. Otherwise you shouldn’t try to put everybody in your personal cultural straitjacket.

  13. So I guess he hasn’t been to a rave still? And the fact that politicians are involved in drug distribution at these parties are probably new to him.

  14. We live in a Liberal democracy. It’s wrong to curtail people’s freedom on the basis of your own moral views. You need to draw a line in terms of acceptability. If so many thousand people wish to attend and who are we to intervene. Girls throwing their underpants was a common feature during the time of Beatles and before. Politician must not pass judgement about other peoples values and moral standings. The president should worry about the countries finances rather than moral values of others in a multi racial multi religious society. Morality is an individual’s own and does not belong to the state. We will become a nanny state if we tell people how to live their own lives. If the president wish to practice Buddist values its up to him. Individuals have their own cultures and values.

  15. The conduct of the Girls, had made the organisers look like……….. Luckily Sangakkara was not given the Posting in UK as Sri Lankan High Commissioner. He and Mahela has got a black mark in their life due to the conduct of these girls. They may lose the total respect that they have earned all these years if they conduct programs of this nature.

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