Director Bharathiraja led a rally at Rameshwaram on Sunday, demanding a halt to the Sri Lankan Army’s ongoing offensive in the northern part of the island nation.
Over 2000 members of the film fraternity participated in this rally. The members arrived by a special train from Chennai. People gathered in large numbers at the railway station to give a rousing reception to the film personalities. The rally commenced after offering prayers in the famous Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameshwaram. Slogans were raised condemning the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka during the rally. They also urged the Centre to take immediate action to prevent the massacre of Tamils.
An effigy of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was burnt at Thittakudi junction. Directors S A ChandraSekar, Bala, Manobala, R K Selvamani and Cheran, actors Pandiarajan, Parthipan, Karunas, Vadivelu, Mansur Ali Khan, Livingston and producers Kalaipuli Thanu, Kunjumon, Ramanarayanan and Prabhakaran also took part. Bharathiraja said the film industry selected Rameshwaram Island as venue for the protest because the Sri Lanka Tamil disembarked there.
Urging the Centre to stop supplying weapons and defence assistance to Sri Lanka, he said the protest had been launched to urge the government to take speedy action to protect the Tamils. He visited the Mandapam transit refugee camp and offered assistance worth Rs 6 lakh to the inmates.
Actor Sarath Kumar, who is the president of the South Indian Film Artistes Association, said that top actors and actresses would stage a fast at Chennai on November 1 on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.