Chennai, Nov 1 (UNI) The Tamil film fraternity today expressed their solidarity with the suffering Sri Lankan Tamils by observing a day long fast and appealed to the Centre and state governments to ensure immediate ceasefire and stop the ongoing genocide. The creame de la creame of Kollywood, as the Tamil film industry is also known, including superstars Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, South Indian Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) President, and actor-politician R Sarath Kumar, General Secretary Radha Ravi and another actor-turned politician Vijaykanth took part in the hunger strike.
The artistes, who gathered under the banner of SIFAA were united in their demand that the Centre must take immediate steps to prevail upon its Sri Lankan counterpart to declare a ceasefire and stop the genocide of innocent Tamils.
They also made a passionate and fervent appeal to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to exert pressure on the Centre in this regard and ensure return of peace, besides ensuring smooth supply of relief materials to Tamils in the war ravaged areas in the Island Nation through International Red Cross.
The artistes, both past and present, also donated liberally for the Sri Lankan Tamils Relief Fund. The collections amounted to Rs 45.79 lakhs, with Rajnikanth making the maximum individual contribution of Rs ten lakhs.
Addressing the large gathering at the SIFAA premises, the Super star, known for his fiery speeches, said the Sri Lankan Army should concede defeat in the war against the Tamils as it could not force a win in the last 30 years since the armed conflict began.
''The Tamils are fighting for their equal rights and took up arms only after the Sri lankan government declared a war against them'', he alleged, adding the Lankan government, should also shed its ego and realise that it could not win.
''If it failed to realise this, the world, including India, should make them realise and agree for an amicable settlement to the decades-long ethnic crisis'', Rajnikanth said.
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