Tamil Nadu film industry vows support to Eezham Tamils
[TamilNet, Monday, 20 October 2008, 11:38 GMT]
Bringing the entire Tamil film industry in Tamil Nadu state of India to a standstill, more than two thousand artists converged at the southern tip of Rameswaram (Raameasvaram), which is situated in the close proximity to the island of Sri Lanka, expressing their support for Eezham Tamils struggle. Actors are also expected to hold a fast on November 01 to express their solidarity with the civilians who suffer due to the military offensive by the Sri Lankan forces.
Veteran film director Bharathirajaa, who led the protest while addressing the artists said while the entire world was set to listen to the voice of the cine artistes of South India, he fervently hoped that their voice would be heard in New Delhi.
Popular poet and lyricist Vairamuthu who addressed the gathering in Rameswaram, pointing at the direction of Mannaar, said Tamils in Sri Lanka were "indigenous people with all the rights to the island." He referred to ancient Tamil literature which spoke of pre-historic and historic Tsunamis.
"On the 22nd of this month, you [India] are going to launch a rocket to the Moon located 3,85,000 km from the Earth. But, why can't you care for Eezham Tamils who are just 16 km away," Mr.Vyramuthu questioned the Indian establishment in New Delhi.
The protest demanded that the Sri Lankan military should be pressurised by New Delhi to halt their military offensives.
Arrangements were hurriedly made Saturday for staging the rally and the Tamil film industry personnel travelled to the pilgrim town of Rameswaram by a special train from Chennai.
Tamil Film Producer's Council, Tamil Film Director's Association, Film Employees Federation of South India and South India Film Artistes Association had backed the campaign.
The move is regarded as a significant step in the public awakening in Tamil Nadu, the most urbanised state with 66 million Tamils after 25 years when cinema industry in Tamil Nadu last converged in support of Eezham Tamils, after the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom in Sri Lanka.
Actor Mansoor Ali Khan referring to the reports of a possible visit by Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Sri Lanka in the near future said that Mr. Mukherjee need not to travel to Sri Lanka to pass a stern warning to Rajapaksa regime and urged New Delhi to send a Tamil speaking envoy instead.
"All Tamils throughout the globe must unite for the creation of Tamil Eelam," he said.
Director K.S. Ravikumar warned that if the war against Tamils is not brought to an end immediately, it would be the deciding factor of the next parliamentary elections.
Cine actor Livingston staged an emotional prayer service. Prominent personalities including Directors Balachandar, Seran , Parthibhan, Rama Nararayanan, K.S.Ravikumar, President of Tamil Film Producers Union, S.A.Chandrasekar, Amir, T.Rajenthar, President of All India Ilatchiya Diravida Munetra Kazhagam, actors Pandiyarajan, Livingston and presidents of various unions of Tamil Nadu film industry participated in the protest rally and spoke.
Tamil Nadu film actors and actresses will participate in a fasting protest to be held in Chennai on November 1st, the organisors said.