R&B star Akon has postponed a planned concert in Sri Lanka following angry protests over a music video he is in where scantily clad women dance in front of a Buddha statue.
Akon, who expressed regret and said he was not previously aware of the statue in the video, would have been the highest profile international singer to come to this predominantly Buddhist, Indian Ocean island since the end of a brutal 25-year civil war last year, The Associated Press reports.
Sri Lanka said Wednesday it would not issue Akon a visa for next month's concert, and his booking firm confirmed the show had been postponed amid growing outrage at the singer here.
A mob on Monday hurled stones at a private broadcaster that was helping sponsor the event and a "We Hate Akon" page on Facebook had attracted more than 12,000 members by Wednesday evening.
In the video, "Sexy Chick," women in bikinis are shown dancing at a pool party with a Buddha statue occasionally visible in the background.
The video "triggered a lot of disappointment among Buddhists all over the world," the government said in a statement explaining why it would not give Akon a visa.
Akon said he was "disheartened" to hear of the media attack and didn't mean to offend any religion.