Amid Controversy, Rajinikanth Calls Off Sri Lanka Trip
Following stiff opposition from Tamil outfits, megastar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced he has cancelled his visit to Sri Lanka next month to inaugurate a housing scheme. He had also sought an appointment with the Sri Lankan President to discuss the fishermen's issue.
File photo of Rajinikanth.
Chennai: Star actor Rajinikanth has called off his proposed visit to Sri Lanka following protests from Tamil groups which said Colombo was using it give the impression it was helping Lankan Tamils hit by the civil war.
"All political leaders have asked me to cancel the visit. Though I don't agree with their stance, I have decided to call off my Lanka visit," Rajinikanth said in a statement on Saturday.
"I am not a politician. I'm an artist. Should I get an opportunity to visit Sri Lanka again, please don't politicise the issue and stop me from going," the statement further said, clearing indicating that the Thalaivar was not inclined to an innings in politics soon.
Rajinikanth was set to visit the island country on April 9 to open a Rs 22 crore housing project by the charitable organisation Gnanam Foundation in the northern areas hit by the 26-year-old civil war which ended 2009.
Many Indian Tamil groups oppose such contacts because the Lankan army and government were accused of unleashing atrocities on Tamil civilians in the final stages of the civil war, and it is now the subject of an international probe.
Gnanam Foundation was started by Lyca Productions which is also bankrolling Rajinikanth's upcoming film 2.0 which is scheduled for a Diwali release.
Rajinikanth said it was his personal equations with MDMK chief Vaiko and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol Thirumalavan which made him cancel his trip.
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