Don't Go To Sri Lanka And Anger Tamils, Superstar Rajinikanth Is Told

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Don't Go To Sri Lanka And Anger Tamils, Superstar Rajinikanth Is Told

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A prominent Dalit leader has told Rajinikanth to reconsider his April visit to Sri Lanka.

CHENNAI: 

Highlights

  1. Tamil Nadu Dalit leader asks Rajnikanth to cancel his Sri Lanka visit
  2. Rajnikanth to hand over keys of houses for displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka
  3. He is invited as chief guest at a programme in the country on April 9
Superstar Rajinikanth's visit to northern Sri Lanka next month to hand over keys of 150 houses built for displaced Tamil is turning into a controversy. On Friday, a prominent Dalit leader in Tamil Nadu asked him to cancel his visit over concerns that the cine star's presence at a high-profile event could lead the world to believe things were back to normal in the island nation.

The actor is the chief guest at a programme in the Northern Province's Vavuniya town on April 9. A foundation, part of Lyca Productions that is funding the actor's sci-fi entertainer "2.0", had built the houses for the displaced Lankan Tamils. It is also perceived to be close to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former President of Sri Lanka.

T Thirumavalavan, the chief of VCK, Viduthlai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Liberation Panther Party), has advised Rajinikanth to re-consider his decision, cautioning that it could earn him the wrath of the Tamil community.

The VCK - a political party that champions the cause of Dalits in Tamil Nadu - had partnered with the DMK for 2011 assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2016 elections, it was part of the third front.

He said Sri Lanka has neither rehabilitated displaced Sri Lankan Tamils nor brought to justice those responsible for human rights violations including death of innocent Tamil civilians during the war against the rebels that ended eight years back.

Against this backdrop, he argued, Sri Lanka could use Rajinikanth's proposed visit to mislead the international community on rehabilitation of the displaced Lankan Tamils.

The opposition comes a day after the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the consensus resolution that gave Sri Lanka two years beyond 2017 to fulfil its commitments for reconciliation and transnational justice.

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