Don't visit Sri Lanka, Canadian Tamils urge Big B

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 03:00 hrs

Toronto: Canadian Tamils on Sunday joined protests against the proposed visit of Amitabh Bachchan to Sri Lanka to attend a Bollywood awards ceremony.

After a large number of Tamils protested outside the bungalow of Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai, Canadian Tamils too raised their voice against the superstar's visit to Sri Lanka to be the chief chief guest at the India International Films Awards (IIFA) function in July.

'Amitabh Bachchan is a great hero for us in the Tamil diaspora, but we are very disturbed and profoundly saddened by our hero's proposed visit to a regime which has perpetrated crimes against Tamils,'' said the Canadian Tamil Congress in a statement here on Sunday.

Tamils protest Bachchan's proposed Sri Lanka visit

'By visiting Sri Lanka, Amitabh Bachchan will be lending credibility to a regime which has destroyed Tamils ruthlessly and committed horrendous human rights violations,'' said Canadian Tamil Congress national spokesman David Poopalapillai.

'When Tamils continue to suffer in Sri Lanka and numerous human rights bodies have implicated the regime in crimes against humanity, we plead with a person of Bachchan's stature not to go there to help a government that is desperately seeking recognition from the world community in spite of its crimes,'' he said.

Seeking solidarity from the Bollywood super star, the Tamil leader said, 'We want to bring to his notice the decision of the Commonwealth nations last year not to allow Colombo the right to hold the next meeting. If the Commonwealth can snub Sri Lanka, why not Amitabh Bachchan? He should respect our feelings. We love him and we are great fans of his whole family, particularly his daughter-in-law Ashwariya Rai.''

Tamils marched from the super star's Pratiksha bungalow to his Jalsa residence in Mumbai and met him Sunday, urging him to boycott the Colombo awards ceremony.

Canada is home to 300,000 Tamils from Sri Lanka, making them the largest group outside the island nation. Canadian Tamils were in the forefront of worldwide protests against the Sri Lankan military assault against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam last year.