Colombo: A Sri Lankan singer on Thursday apologised after his much-hyped World Cup song was banned by President Mahinda Rajapakse who argued that the music video was offensive to other competing nations.
Singer Lahiru Perera expressed "deep regret and apologies" after the president asked state-run radio and television not to play the song which, among other things, contained threats against defending champions Australia.
"I would like to reiterate that I did not intend disrespect for any country playing in the World Cup, but only meant to produce a song that will be enjoyed as a cheer song by all Sri Lankans," he said in a statement.
Privately-run radio and television also took the video off the air on their own although the song was officially launched last month in the presence of Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Local media reports said that the launch of the video as the official cheer song of the national team had cost about half a million dollars.
However, the president was appalled after he heard the Sinhalese and Tamil mixed song on Sunday while watching Sri Lanka beat Canada by 210 runs at the new stadium in the southern district of Hambantota.
"The president was appalled that the song was allowed in the first place," an official at President's office told AFP on Wednesday.
"He felt the song was in poor taste. What he wants is a song to inspire the team and fans and not insult other nations."
The singer said his cricket song was in line with his previous work which he described as "unconventional and novel."
Sri Lanka, who are co-hosting the World Cup with Bangladesh and India, has already run into trouble with fans after banning music and placards at match venues.
Following intense criticism, police have relaxed bans on placards, posters and banners.