Colombo Concert Opposed By
Monks Ends In Disaster!
Periscope - Global Sinhala
Two dead in Colombo concert blast where many questions arise about why
permission was granted by the authorities for such a concert in the
first place as it offended the Buddhist Clergy who vehemently protested
against it and now this disaster. Perhaps in hindsight this concert
should have been called off as Sri Lanka is no place for the propagation
of Bollywood Culture considering how culturally rich the Island Nation
is by comparison to the conglomerate cultures India is steeped in often
as a morass of acquired perspective relative to the diversities India
is culturally reputed for and not all of them completely aloof from
fanaticism! which sometimes becomes hysterically pandemic with dire
reprisals as seems to have been the case in Colombo today!
The latest reports coming in from Colombo indicate that at least two
people have been killed and 18 others injured in an explosion at a concert
by popular Indian Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan and a contingent of other
famous Indian performers in Colombo. According to Police a hand-grenade
lobbed into the front stands by persons unknown exploded with utter
devastation as Shahrukh Khan ended his performance on Saturday.
Doctors said all the unfortunate victims were front row members of the
audience,all of them injured by shrapne and flying debris and the impact
of the explosionl. The two dead were identified as a woman and a child.
The performers comprising of Indian superstar Khan and a host of other
well known Indian Film Stars escaped without serious injury and the
organisers too must surely be reflecting upon the wisdom of permitting
the concert to continue especially in view of the sensitive issues involved
where the income generated from such an event "Temptation 2004"
and thought to be Sri Lanka's Musical Show of the Year attended by an
estimated 10,000 strong audience, seems to have been of no consequence
to the pandemonium and grief it has caused.
The protests from a multitude of Buddhist Monks against holding the
event was based on their dissent that it was an affront to Sri Lankan
Culture and coincided with the death anniversary of the popular Buddhist
Monk The Late Gangodawila Soma Thera and that it was disrespectful to
his memory to hold such an event and while their cries appear to have
been vindicated albeit unjustly and cruelly there are lessons to be
learned for the future!
Previously the protesting monks had threatened self imolation which
had drawn an apology from Sharukh Khan and a moment of silence to respect
the Late Bikkhu Gangodawila Soma Thera wherethe monks digressing their
protest in accepting the gestures but apparently to no avail as far
as the ultimate consequences of the days tragic events were concerend!
Earlier in the day prior to the commencement of the event, protesters
had clashed near the venue with police who used teargas, water cannon
and rubber bullets to disperse them. They had attacked vehicles and
concert goers indiscriminately. According to Police sources the grenade
was detonated in the VIP section of the audience as the three-hour show
was nearing its end.
In addition to the two dead so far, all of them Sri Lankans, there
are reported to be 18 more injured with 6 of them critically and the
death toll could tragically increase.To compound the tragic and apathetic
nature of this carnage, ironically the security was reported to be air
tight and all entrants thoroughly subjected to a four points search
before admission into the arena which was previously safety checked
by anti terrorist agents together with sniffer dogs where the modus
operandi of these security sources must now become circumspect and questionable
as to the worthlessness of their presence and operations!
Despite suspicions there appears to be no terrorist involvement according
to the Police and other experts as an investigation has been launched
into the tragedy which notwithstanding its billing and the euphoria
it generated amongst Indian Film and Music Fans in Sri Lanka has probably
now become the tragical public event of the year during a Peace Process
which has held for over 2 1/2 years!
Lankaweb sympathises deeply with the families of the deceased victims
and sincere extends sincere thoughts and aspirations towards the speedy
recovery the injured!