Anorak News | Sting Plays Uzbekistan For Money And Spreads ‘Commerce Of Ideas’

Sting Plays Uzbekistan For Money And Spreads ‘Commerce Of Ideas’

by | 22nd, February 2010

92351901STING is a champion of human rights and greenism. Sting is playing for Islam Karimov’s daughter Gulnara Karimova in daddy’s Uzbekistan. That’s Uzbekistan, home of the Aral Sea, child slaves and a leader “hermetically sealed in his own medieval, tyrannical mindset.” Who said that? Sting, who earned between £1m and £2m for his concert, said that.

He journeyed there not on foot but by jet.

“I played in Uzbekistan a few months ago. The concert was organized by the president’s daughter and I believe sponsored by Unicef.”

In 1988, Sting sang for Amnesty International in the Human Rights Now! Tour, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty’s 2009 report on the country states:

Widespread torture or other ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners, including human rights defenders and government critics, continued to be reported. The authorities failed to investigate such allegations effectively.

Sting goes on:

“I am well aware of the Uzbek president’s appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment. I made the decision to play there in spite of that. I have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counter-productive, where proscribed states are further robbed of the open commerce of ideas and art and as a result become even more closed, paranoid and insular.”

But you would not play Sun City?

“I supported wholeheartedly the cultural boycott of South Africa under the apartheid regime because it was a special case and specifically targeted the younger demographic of the ruling white middle class.”

Sting is nothing is no self aware, right, kids? Right, Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan:

But this really is transparent bollocks. He did not take a guitar and jam around the parks of Tashkent. He got paid over a million pounds to play an event specifically designed to glorify a barbarous regime. Is the man completely mad?

Why does he think it was worth over a million quid to the regime to hear him warble a few notes?

I agree with him that cultural isolation does not help. I am often asked about the morality of going to Uzbekistan, and I always answer – go, mix with ordinary people, tell them about other ways of life, avoid state owned establishments and official tours. What Sting did was the opposite. To invoke Unicef as a cover, sat next to a woman who has made hundreds of millions from state forced child labour in the cotton fields, is pretty sick.

Next time you see Sumner on television warbling on about his love for the rain forest, switch him off.

Beign Sting must be hard – showing us the way and then doing what it takes to spread his message…

Posted: 22nd, February 2010 | In: Celebrities Comments (9) | TrackBack | Permalink