Tamil artistes to observe fast on Dec 25

Mullaperiyar Dam
Chennai, Dec 23: In the midst of the row over Mullaperiyar reservoir between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, a group of Tamil film artistes led by veteran director and Padma Shri awardee Bharathirajaa will stage a protest here on December 25 demanding CISF protection for the dam, among others.

Organised on behalf of 'May 17 Movement', an NGO, the protest at the Marina here will also demand arrest of persons who had allegedly attacked Tamils in Kerala in a fallout of the controversy and ensuring Tamil Nadu's rights over the dam.

"The insistence by Kerala to demolish the dam will turn south Tamil Nadu into a graveyard and we should transcend all differences to remain united on this issue," Bharathirajaa, maker of some critically acclaimed films like '16 Vayanthinile', told reporters. He also rued the 'lack of unity' among Tamil political parties on the issue.

Tamil Nadu Film Directors' Association was also planning to hold a fast at Theni district on the matter.Various Tamil film personalities, some political leaders and traders' bodies are scheduled to participate in the protest. Meanwhile, MDMK chief Vaiko said his party will stage a black-flag demonstration against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Karaikudi in the state on December 26 in connection with the Mullaperiyar dam issue.

Earlier, principal Opposition party DMDK had announced a similar protest in Chennai, accusing Centre of being biased against Tamil Nadu on issues including the dam row and the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. Singh will be on a two-day visit of the state from December 25.


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