The prominent South Indian Carnatic and Kollywood singer P Unni Krishnan has apologised to his Tamil fans, for being honoured by Douglas Devananda in Jaffna during a music concert last month, reports Uthayan.
Unni Krishnan said he was deeply ashamed of the incident, in which Devananda marked the singer with the traditional honour of being draped in a silk cloth or ‘ponnaadai’ during a performance at Nallur Kanthasamy temple in Jaffna on 18th August 2012.
Describing the incident as a "black mark" in his musical journey, the singer apologised for hurting Tamil sentiments worldwide.
Speaking in an interview, Unni Krishnan said (translated text follows):
“I was invited to perform at a musical concert during the Nallur Kanthasamy Temple Festival (Thiruvizha) in Jaffna. Having earned a place in the hearts of Eelam Tamils through songs on liberation, I agreed to go to Jaffna to meet and perform for them.”
“While the concert was taking place, Douglas Devananda, the leader of a paramilitary group responsible for killing scores of Tamils, and other members of his group suddenly climbed on stage. This created a dilemma for me as I only learnt about him after the incident.”
“It was only afterwards I learnt that this man Douglas Devananda is despised by Tamil people in their entirety and is the leader of a paramilitary group accused of murder in India.”
“This incident was unexpected and an uncalled for embarrassment which I deeply regret. I am someone who is always trustworthy and I feel that this event has dropped a black mark on my musical career. I can promise that such an incident will not happen again in the future. I apologise again for the hurt this would have caused to the Tamil people.”
See here for photographs of the incident.
At the time, the Foreign Correspondent of The Hindu, RK Radhakrishnan, tweeted: "Douglas Devananda forced himself as chief guest at Jaffna Music Festival yday where Unnikrishnan was singing. No better way to close it down."