Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The General Council members of South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA) on Sunday unanimously decided to hold elections for 2009-2012 on July 12.

The filing of nomination papers will commence on June 15 and the final list will be announced on June 26, said association president R. Sarath Kumar.

Presenting the SIAA’s 56th annual report, Mr. Sarath Kumar said that it was decided to provide financial assistance to senior artistes, who had been associated with SIAA for 25 years, financial assistance for medical treatment, start actors’ training college, construct a new complex, conduct competitions and provide awards.

It was resolved on Sunday that all artistes should enrol themselves as members of SIAA; leading artistes should contribute 2.5 per cent of their salary to the association; complaints would be entertained based on the written agreement entered into by artistes and producers and the services of junior artistes should be utilised during film shootings taking place in Madurai, Salem, Pudukottai, Karur, Tiruchi and Namakkal.

Thanking his colleagues for participating in the events and protests to express their support for the Sri Lankan Tamils in 2008-2009, he said that the association would support their cause in the future too.

Recently, the SIAA contributed Rs.62.69 lakh for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Asked whether he would contest the coming election, Mr. Sarath Kumar said it would be decided only on June 26.

On the construction of a new complex, he said, “For the time being, the existing one is being strengthened.

“Our idea is to build the new complex without raising a loan and at the same time to see that our cash reserves do not diminish and beneficiaries are not put to trouble.

Generous donations

Some of the members have come forward to donate generously for the cause and we will start the construction soon.”