Entertainment

Enrique Iglesias concert promoters should be whipped, says Sri Lankan president

Promoters of Enrique Iglesias' Sri Lankan concert should be "whipped with toxic stingray tails" as punishment for women throwing their bras on stage, the country's president has warned.

Enrique Iglesias talks about his music during a Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami in May.
Enrique Iglesias talks about his music during a Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami in May. Photo: J Pat Carter

Maithripala Sirisena condemned the singer's "Sex and Love" show after he heard women rushed on stage to kiss and hug the Spanish star and throw underwear at him during the December 20 concert.

The Sri Lankan leader was appalled by what happened at the "indecent" Colombo show, and went as far to suggest the promoters should be beaten in a medieval-style punishment.

One fan spent some time hugging and dancing with Enrique on stage.
One fan spent some time hugging and dancing with Enrique on stage. 

"This is most uncivilised behaviour that goes against our culture," Mr Sirisena told a public meeting, according to the BBC.

"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.

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"These indecent concerts should never receive authorisation again in Sri Lanka."

In one video posted to YouTube, Iglesias is seen catching a bra thrown to him from the audience before inviting a woman on-stage to dance with him.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in January.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in January. Photo: Eranga Jayawardena

According to the BBC report, whipping with stingray tails was a punishment reserved for hardened criminals in medieval Sri Lanka, and is still today used as an expression for extreme punishment.

Mr Sirisena, who came to power in January, has also floated the idea reintroducing the death penalty in Sri Lanka following a series of high profile rapes.

The price of tickets to the show, which ranged between $US35 and $US350, also angered the president. In 2012, the average monthly income in Sri Lanka was $US83, according to a government report.

Iglesias is yet to publicly comment on Mr Sirisena's remarks, as have the event's organisers. 

The "Sex and Love" tour made headlines in June after the singer sliced his fingers on a drone capturing footage of the show. Iglesias had his hand bandaged before finishing the show.