Not averse to Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka when situation improves, says pro-Tamil groups

Rajinikanth was to hand over 150 new houses built for Tamils by Gnanam Foundation in Jaffna on April 9.

By: PTI | Chennai | Published: March 28, 2017 7:57:27 pm

Pro-Tamil outfits, including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), on Tuesday said they were not averse to actor Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka to meet Tamils after the situation for the minorities improves there. VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said an ‘all-is-well carnival atmosphere,’ being sought to be projected by the pro-government organisers, was inappropriate now when Tamils were struggling for their rights.

Originally on April 9, actor Rajinikanth was scheduled to hand over 150 new houses built in Jaffna for Tamils by Gnanam Foundation of Lyca Group, a Tamil film production house.

The actor, however, cancelled his visit after various outfits, including VCK, objected to it.

“They had planned to mobilise four lakh people to project an all-is-well, carnival atmosphere for the event in which Rajinikanth was supposed to participate,” he told PTI, adding such an impression would have hindered the Tamils’ struggle.

Rajinikanth, however, can meet the Tamils any day in Sri Lanka but only after the situation of its various regions affected by the 2009 war improves there, he said.

“People there too are ready to welcome him. We too are not going to oppose it,” he told reporters here, adding, however, that the present situation was not conducive for the actor’s visit.

“When the situation improves, he may visit Tamils there.”

Explaining his stand, he said Sri Lankan Tamils were continuing their relay agitation on various demands, including the ones for retrieving their houses and farmland from Sri Lankan army.

They have also been raising the issue of the people who went missing after they surrendered to the Lankan armed forces during the 2009 civil war, he said.

CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan, explaining his party’s opposition to Rajinikanth’s proposed visit, said neither the army personnel posted in Tamil-populated regions in Sri Lanka have so far been withdrawn, nor the Tamils have been given back their land or the equal rights.

Though this was the current scenario, an effort was being made to project as if “good things” were being done, he said. “This is the fact and only under this situation did we appeal to him to avoid visiting Sri Lanka.”

Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi chief T Velmurugan said if the visit had materialised, it would have been used to portray that all was well and the people were happy. It could have been utilised to obliterate the need for probe war crimes by the erstwhile Lankan regime, he said.

BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan, however, said the actor should have gone there.

“It could have been a solace for them (Tamils). The houses were not built by the government, but by a Tamil foundation. There is no need for bringing politics in the issue,” she said blaming Thirumavalavan.

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