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Sri Lankan movie industry hits back at accusations

South Indian counterparts told to stop criticizing

ucanews.com reporter, Colombo

ucanews.com reporter, Colombo

Published: April 12, 2013 09:00 AM GMT

Updated: April 11, 2013 10:38 PM GMT

Sri Lankan movie industry hits back at accusations
Sri Lankan artistes stage protest against Indian stars

Hundreds of figures from Sri Lanka’s entertainment industry gathered for a silent vigil yesterday to protest over what they say is unwarranted criticism and interference in their country’s affairs by members of the movie industry in South India.

About 400 film industry workers, all dressed in white, held the gathering at Independence Square in Colombo yesterday.

They were responding to a recent hunger strike staged by 3,000 members of the South Indian Film Artistes' Association including many from Tamil Nadu in Chennai earlier this month.

The hunger strikers were calling for better treatment of Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils and for a proper probe into alleged war crimes committed in the latter stages of the civil war which ended in 2009.

Many Tamils say they are discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese.  

They cited a UN resolution adopted last month, which called for an independent and credible investigation into the alleged war crimes.

Following yesterday’s protest, Douglas Siriwardena, a stage and screen directorinvited members of the Indian film industry to visit Sri Lanka to see the situation for themselves.

“We condemn their hunger strike and can only assume these film artists have been misguided by political campaigners,” he said.

“The Indian artists seem to have forgotten that the Tamil Tiger rebels banned Indian films and killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.” 

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