CHENNAI: Following requests from political leaders, Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced that he was cancelling his two-day visit to Sri Lanka on an invitation from Lyca Productions, which is alleged to have links with former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Making it clear that he has decided to stay away from the function organised by Lyca Productions in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka following ‘affectionate requests’ from leaders of some political parties in Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth made an appeal to them not to prevent him from visiting Lanka if he gets another opportunity in the future.
Rajinikanth was to attend an event organised by the cinema production house on April 9 to hand over 150 houses built in the war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka for the affected families belonging to the ethnic Tamil community.
VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan welcomed the decision of Rajinikanth.
Rajinikanth said while Thirumavalavan made this request through media, MDMK general secretary Vaiko called him over telephone in this regard.
Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi leader T Velmurugan had conveyed his request through friends, pointing out many political reasons. “Though I cannot accept the reasons put forth by them wholeheartedly, I will stay away from this function, accepting their affectionate request,”, he said.
“I wish to underscore one thing. I am not a politician, but an artiste. As pointed out by Thirumavalavan, my duty is to entertain the people. If I get another opportunity to visit Lanka and meet the Tamil people there, I request you not to prevent me from visiting the place where a holy war took place. I take privilege in making this request with affection,” Rajinikanth added.
Hailing Subaskaran, chairman of Lyca Productions, as a compassionate person, Rajinikanth said he had constructed 150 houses, in memory of his mother Gnanambika, for the people in Vavuniya who had lost their houses.
The function to present the houses to the beneficiaries is scheduled for April 9.
Besides, Malaysian Senate Member Vigneswaran and Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan, MP from United Kingdom James Berry and Chief Minister of Northern Province CV Vigneswaran are scheduled to attend the function.
On the occasion, it has also been decided to give funds for constructing Research Building for Jaffna University. On April 10, Rajinikanth is scheduled to visit Vavuniya and hand over the houses to the people and plant saplings. Besides, he has also planned to visit Mullaithivu, Kilinochi and Pudukudiyiruppu.