Akon is “disheartened” to learn of violent protests and a riot that took place in Sri Lanka earlier this week. In an official statement issued over his now canceled concert late Tuesday, the “Smack That” entertainer said “violence is not the answer”. “I was not aware that the statue was even on the set of the video until now. I would never set out to offend or desecrate anyone’s religion or religious beliefs,” Akon said in a statement Tuesday, March 23, referring to a statue of Buddha that appears in the music video for “Sexy Chick” (with David Guetta). Sources say the video ignited protests with groups believing Akon ‘desecrated’ Buddha with scantily clad women dancing in front of it. In his statement, Akon sympathizes with protesters who reportedly threw stones, smashed windows and damaged vehicles at the Maharaja Broadcasting and Television (MBC/MTV) building, stating: “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 yesterday in Sri Lanka.” Due to the violence and the Sri Lankan government denying his visa, Akon will not be performing his scheduled concert in April. According to concert promoters, the show will be rescheduled. “Due to the recent events that transpired yesterday in Sri Lanka, we have decided to postpone Akon’s upcoming show. We are working diligently with the local promoters to ensure the safety of both our talent and the fans before committing to a new date. Akon is looking forward to performing for the people of Sri Lanka and we hope to have this situation resolved in the coming weeks,” a representative from American Talent Agency confirmed Tuesday.
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