Stars of ‘Kollywood’, India’s Tamil film industry, strike over Sri Lanka war abuses

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April 4, 2013

About 3,000 Tamil actors, including the legendary Rajnikanth, went on a hunger strike to protest human rights abuses against Tamil civilians during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The move is expected to put further pressure on India to ask for an inquiry into alleged war crimes.

April 4, 2013

About 3,000 Tamil actors, including the legendary Rajnikanth, went on a hunger strike to protest human rights abuses against Tamil civilians during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The move is expected to put further pressure on India to ask for an inquiry into alleged war crimes.

The biggest stars of India's "Kollywood" Tamil film industry have staged a strike in protest at human rights abuses against Tamil civilians in the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war.

An estimated 3,000 Tamil actors, including India's most popular film star, the legendary former bus conductor Rajnikanth, staged a one-day hunger strike in Chennai, the capital of India's Tamil Nadu.

Their protest reflects a growing movement in Tamil Nadu in support of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority in recent weeks. Last month, the DMK party, a key member of India's Congress-led coalition, resigned over the government's failure to denounce the "genocide" of Tamils in Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Committee.

Tamil Nadu's chief minister banned Sri Lankan cricketers from playing in any Indian Premier League T20 matches in the state.

The support of some of the Tamil film industry's biggest names is likely to fuel the protests further and put the Indian government under greater pressure to confront Sri Lanka and push for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes in its long-running civil war.

The Indian government "should implement the resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly which demanded a referendum on a separate Tamil Eelam and action should be taken against the those who committed war crimes during the war in 2009," actor Sarath Kumar, one of the organizers, told a local newspaper.

Fellow Tamil actor Cho Ramaswamy, however, accused his colleagues of posturing on the issue.

"Its not even symbolism, it is just to hoodwink public that we are for the Tamil cause but there is no sincere attempt to do anything concrete for the Sri Lankan Tamils by the industry," he said.


Courtesy: Daily Telegraph

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