They call upon Centre to impose economic sanctions on island nation

Endorsing the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution on Sri Lanka, the South Indian Artistes Association, the apex body of film actors in South India, on Tuesday called upon the Union government to impose economic sanctions on the island nation till the safety and rights of Tamils there was ensured.

At the end of a well-attended fast at the Association’s premises in T.Nagar here, it urged the Central Government to take measures to insist that Sri Lanka accept an independent international enquiry into the final days of the Tamil Eelam War in which war crimes were allegedly committed by Sri Lankan Army on unarmed civilians.

Leading actors from Tamil film industry, including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Sarath Kumar, Sivakumar, Ajith Kumar, Suriya, Sathiyaraj, Dhanush, ‘Jeyam’ Ravi, Nalini and Urvashi, participated in the fast. There was considerable public and media attention at the venue with people gathering through the day to catch a glimpse of the actors.

Several actors who were interviewed at the venue reiterated that the protest was apolitical and credited the students’ community for their State-wide protests in solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils for spurring the government to action.

At the end of the protest, R.Sarath Kumar, the president of the Association, read out a list of resolutions passed on behalf of those who held the protest.

In it, the Association appealed to the Union Government to take cognizance of the resolutions passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly condemning the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Sri Lankan government.

Another resolution sought safety for the Tamil fishermen who, the Association noted, were put to constant hardship by the Sri Lankan navy.