Vijay, who had earlier participated in the fast organised by the South Indian Artistes Association and later by the technicians of Tamil film industry, conducted the fast agitation today in deference to the wishes of his innumerable fans. Speaking before launching the fast, Vijay said reports coming in from Sri Lanka about the military offensive against the Tamils there were very disturbing. He demanded the Centre to take immediate steps to protect the Tamils.
As the Tamil areas were targeted in the military attack, the Indian government should prevail upon the Lankan government to declare a ceasefire immediately, the actor said.
Vijay led the fast along with his fans and parents-- drector-father S A Chandrasekaran and writer-mother Shoba near the Chepauk Guest house. His fans observed fast at various places in the state, including Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli, Pudukkottai, Madurai, Erode, Vellore and Dharmapuri districts.
Though Vijay has been expressing his solidarity with the Lankan Tamils by participating in the agitations organised by the Tamil film industry, his fans wanted him to observe a fast separately to condemn the genocide against the Tamils.
The actor had recently unveiled a separate flag for his fan clubs in what was the first show of strength of his fans.
Vijay, however, rejected a suggestion that the fast was a show of strength and a forerunner to his entry into state politics, to which the Tamil film industry has great affinity. Many leading personalities in Tamil cinema have been part of active politics of the state.
Those who participated in the fast, held placards, denouncing the attack on Tamils. They also displayed photographs of injured women and children in the attacks on Tamils in Lanka.
Meanwhile, a group of children in Erode also observed fast, demanding the Centre to ensure ceasefire in Lanka. In Virudhunagar, a section of Christians, after a mass prayer, observed fast for the cause of Lankan Tamils.