Akon Protesters Throw Stones In Sri Lanka

Singer Akon arrives at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Protesters outraged at an upcoming concert by R&B singer Akon hurled stones at a Sri Lankan private broadcaster's headquarters Monday, injuring four workers and damaging the building.

Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said several protesters against the Akon concert were taken into custody after throwing rocks at the headquarters of the Majaraja Organization, the broadcaster sponsoring the concert scheduled for April in Colombo.

About 200 people suddenly gathered outside the office in the capital Colombo and threw stones at the building, said Chevan Daniel, head of news at Maharaja broadcasting.

Four workers suffered injuries that were not serious, he said. The stones shattered some of the office's windows and damaged several vehicles parked outside the building.

Placards left at the scene read, "Stop Akon's show."

Some Sri Lankans accuse Akon of desecrating an image of Buddha in a music video. The video "Sexy Chick" features scantily clad women dancing at a pool party with a Buddha statue visible in the background. Sri Lanka's ethnic majority Sinhalese are mainly Buddhists.

Maharaja Organization has three television and four radio channels and they have come under attack in the past, too.

Last year, a group of armed men attacked its studio and transmission compound, tossing hand grenades and spraying the building with gunfire. There was no clear motive for that attack.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.