Superstar Rajinikanth on Saturday said he had cancelled his trip to Sri Lanka on April 9-10 to attend a few programmes, following opposition from Tamil outfits in Tamil Nadu, who cautioned him against getting involved in ethnic issues.
Rajinikanth is currently shooting for director Shankar's latest film 2.0 — a sequel to the 2010 film Enthiran — that will be released on October 18 this year. He was supposed to attend a number of events in Sri Lanka, including the dedication of 150 homes to those who had lost their houses in ethnic strife in the country.
That specific programme had been organised by Lyca Productions, an entertainment company run by Allirajah Subaskaran, a British Tamil entrepreneur of Sri Lankan origin. Subaskaran and Lyca Productions had faced protests in Tamil Nadu in 2014, when the production house had financed the Vijay-starrer Kaththi.
The protests had been launched by pro-Tamil outfits like the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), which are the same outfits that urged Rajinikanth not to "get pulled into ethnic issues" in Sri Lanka.
In a public letter, Rajinikanth said that when the VCK, the TVK and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) founder Vaiko made a humble request to him to not get involved in "political issues," he decided to cancel his trip in deference to their wishes, despite not agreeing with them.
It may be noted that although Rajinikanth seems to be keeping away from politics — he has openly said he will not support any political party in the RK Nagar by-elections — he is all for activism: He had reportedly sought an appointment with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to express his concerns over the plight of Indian — and more specifically Tamil — fishermen who are either picked up or fired upon by the Sri Lankan Navy.