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Organizer of ‘White Party’ in Sri Lanka apologizes amid backlash

Organizer of ‘White Party’ in Sri Lanka apologizes amid backlash

Organizer of ‘White Party’ in Sri Lanka apologizes amid backlash

Organizer of ‘White Party’ in Sri Lanka apologizes amid backlash

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  • An event organizer in Sri Lanka has apologized for a “white party” that was interpreted as exclusive for white attendees.
  • The event was intended to gather expatriates, not whites, and was canceled after sparking backlash online.
  • Social media users labeled the event as “disgusting” and “racist.”
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After sparking backlash online, the organizer of a “white party” in Sri Lanka has apologized. The event’s advertisement, which specified a white dress code, also included a line stating “Face control: White,” leading many to interpret that the event was exclusively for white attendees. Later, an organizer acknowledged that the event was “a bad idea” and clarified that it was intended to gather expatriates. The party, originally scheduled for last Saturday, was subsequently canceled.

Social media swiftly reacted to the event with many labeling it as “disgusting” and “racist.”

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

“How dare they come to a brown country and ban the people of that country,” another social media user said on Facebook.

Under the Instagram handle geo_ecstatic, a man claiming to be an event organizer wrote that there was “no malice or racism” in planning the party.

“We wanted to meet expats who have been living here for a long time and love Sri Lanka. “I was supported by the team, and together we made a joint decision to quickly organize a party,” he stated, noting that he has since had to leave the country after receiving a barrage of abuse and threats.

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“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 apologize to everyone whose feelings were hurt.”

The Sarayka Lounge, located in the southern coastal town of Unawatuna, was scheduled to host the event. However, the venue later posted a statement announcing the cancellation of the party. They admitted that their staff team had not conducted a thorough enough check and declared that they had “severed ties” with the event planners.

“We have never supported and will never support various racist statements or organizations,” they wrote.

Believed to be Russian citizens, both the organizer and the owners of Sarayka Lounge are involved in the event.

Rupasena Koswatta, president of a Unawatuna entrepreneurs’ association, informed BBC Sinhala that many Russians have relocated to Unawatuna, a coastal city just 5km (3.1 mi) from Galle, in the last two years.

Many of the tourism businesses there are now owned by Russians in the area now known by many as “Little Moscow”.

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Later, the Russian Embassy in Colombo released a statement strongly condemning all forms of racial discrimination and nationalism. They urged citizens residing on the island to follow its laws and respect local customs.

On Sunday, Sri Lanka announced the cessation of long-term tourist visa extensions for Russians and Ukrainians. Reports indicate that over 288,000 Russians and nearly 20,000 Ukrainians have visited Sri Lanka since Moscow invaded Ukraine.

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