MADURAI: A huge crowd of admirers greeted Tamil movie directors Seeman and Ameer on their release here Friday after spending a week in jail for making allegedly seditious speeches in Rameshwaram during a demonstration to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils.
After their release on bail Friday, the two said they "rued their freedom as the killings of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka had not ended in spite of their brief imprisonment".
"Our release on bail is a pyrrhic legal victory and we rue our freedom since the killing of innocent Tamils has not ended. It would have been infinitely better if the travails of Tamils in Sri Lanka had lessened," Ameer said.
"We urge all world governments to order Sri Lanka to stop attacks on Tamil civilians and hold peaceful negotiations to solve the ethnic minority's long pending issue immediately," Seeman said.
Though the orders to release the duo on conditional bail were issued in Ramanathapuram Wednesday, they emerged from prison virtually 48 hours later. A huge crowd led by other mainstays of the Tamil film industry, including directors Bharti Raja, Bhagyaraj and R.K. Selvamani, cheered them on their release.
Raja hailed the "selfless act" of the directors.
"For the first time, Tamil filmdom has exhibited the strength of its ethnic unity to oppose unjust killings in Sri Lanka. We hope our emotional, selfless act of Seeman and Ameer will move the centre to stop the killings in the island," Raja said.
Seeman and Ameer were arrested Oct 24 for their alleged seditious speeches in Rameshwaram during a demonstration on Oct 19.
To fulfil the bail conditions, Ameer and Seeman will stay in Madurai and the neighbouring town of Ilayangudi respectively for signing a roster in a local court every day.
MDMK leaders Vaiko and M. Kannappan, arrested on the same charges, are still in the high security Puzhal Prison in state capital Chennai, 400 km north of here.
Top actors and actresses, including superstars Rajnikant and Kamal Haasan, are scheduled to take part in a day-long hunger strike Saturday.