Tamils protest outside Bachchan's residence over his proposed Sri Lanka visit

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Mumbai, May 11 (ANI): Members of the Tamil community staged a protest outside Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan's residence in Mumbai on Tuesday, against his proposed visit to Sri Lanka in June.

Bachchan is due to attend the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony in Colombo from June 3-5. Members of the Naam Tamilar party went on a hunger strike outside Bachchan's residence, and expressed their anger over the killings of Sri Lankan Tamils last year.

They demanded a change in the venue of the awards to be changed.

"The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) 2010 awards ceremony is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka. We are going on a hunger strike and our demand is that IIFA awards should not be held in Sri Lanka. We came here earlier, had a meeting with the IIFA officials and discussed the issue," said C Rajendran, General Secretary, Naam Tamilar Party.

"Actually, they told us that the ceremony will take place on July 2, but now after the discussion, they shifted the date of event to June 2," he added.

However, the IIFA officials assured them that the sentiments of the Tamils would be acknowledged.

Later, Bachchan received a petition submitted by the protestors.

The IIFA 2010 is being viewed in Sri Lanka as a 'coming out' platform for a nation that is emerging from 30 years of civil conflict.

Bachchan visited Colombo recently and shared stage with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Tamil film fraternity has also rejected the idea of an Indian film event in Sri Lanka, with popular Tamil actors Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Ajith and Surya reportedly declining to take part in the IIFA.

Some regional political parties and pro-Sri Lankan Tamil groups have also protested against Bachchan's decision.

IIFA is an organization dedicated to promoting Indian Cinema abroad, focusing on places with concentrations of Indian diaspora. The awards function last year was held in Macau in hina. (ANI)

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