Sri Lanka cricket legends apologise for botched love and sex

ECONOMYNEXT – An event management company owned by Sri Lanka’s cricketing legends apologised today for the Enrique Iglesias concert where local women shed their underwear, sparking outrage from President Maithripala Sirisena.

Live Events directed by Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara admitted that security at the mega event "failed alarmingly" and apologised for the "negative experience" during the one-hour concert that has been brutally panned by fans.

Fans had paid prices ranging from 5,000 rupees to 35,000 rupees for tickets to the show which was part of the Spanish star’s world tour, "Love and Sex".

They did not directly refer to President Maithripala Sirisena’s criticism that intoxicated local women had thrown their bras at the singer and kissed and hugged him.

"I don’t advocate that these uncivilised women who removed their brassieres should be beaten with toxic stingray tails, but those who organised such an event should be," the president said on Sunday.

In conservative Sri Lankan society, public displays of affection, even among married couples, are frowned upon. Police are known to have arrested courting couples for kissing at the Vihara Maha Devi Park and at Galle Face.

Sirisena did not name the two cricket stars, but it was widely known that the concert was hosted by a company set up recently by the pair after Sangakkara retired from international cricket in August.

Live Events said they were considering refunding fans who were disappointed due to delays in starting the concert and the ensuing crowd chaos.

Those who had paid for the most expensive tickets were said to have been dislodged by people who bought cheaper tickets as security and crowd control arrangements failed.

"Although we know an apology or refund cannot fully satiate your disappointment, we wish to reiterate that we remain fully committed to all of you and our country," the cricketing duo said.

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"A full and thorough internal inquiry is ongoing into all areas of concern."

There had been avalanche of criticism of the event organisers even before the president jumped in with a call to publicly flog Live Events directors.

The cricketing duo also denied allegations that they had dodged paying local municipal taxes amounting to nearly 30 million rupees. (COLOMBO, December 28, 2015)

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