Whites Party Echoing

Whites Party Echoing

An organiser of a “whites only party” in Sri Lanka has apologised after facing backlash online, amid rising tensions between locals and expats.

The event was advertised with the words “Face control: White”, which was largely interpreted to mean the event was open only to white people.

One of the organisers has now said the event – which was cancelled – was meant to bring together expats but admitted it was a “bad idea”.

“We wanted to meet expats who have been living here for a long time and love Sri Lanka. The team… supported me and a joint decision was made to quickly organise a party,” he said, writing under the Instagram handle geo_ecstatic.

Barrage of abuse and threats
“I didn’t expect this to be such a sensitive moment for a huge number of people. I admit that it was a bad idea… and I understand that we created it ourselves out of our stupidity. I deeply apologise to everyone whose feelings were hurt,” he said, adding that he has since had to leave the country after receiving a barrage of abuse and threats.

Writing on social media, one person said: “How dare they come to a brown country and ban the people of that country.”

A local restaurant owner added: “I know not all expats are like this… but this sort of thing should be stopped fast and stopped hard.”

The organiser is believed to be a Russian citizen.

More than 288,000 Russians and nearly 20,000 Ukrainians have travelled to Sri Lanka since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the BBC, with many tourism businesses now known as “Little Moscow”.

Racism condemned
The Russian embassy in Colombo later released a statement saying it “strongly condemns all forms of racial discrimination and nationalism”.

It urged citizens residing on the island to follow its laws and respect local customs.

Later on Sunday, Sri Lanka said it had ended long-term tourist visa extensions for Russians and Ukrainians.

The immigration office issued a notice to the tourism ministry asking Russian and Ukrainian people staying on extended tourist visas to leave Sri Lanka within two weeks from Feb 23.

(The Telegraph )

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