Rajinikanth cancels Sri Lanka trip following protest

Following stiff opposition from Tamil outfits, megastar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced he has cancelled his visit to Sri Lanka next month to inaugurate a housing scheme. He had also sought an appointment with the Sri Lankan President to discuss the fishermen's issue.

As part of his visit, organised by Lyca Productions, Rajinikanth was expected to speak at a public meeting and plant tree saplings. He was keen to discuss the festering fishermen's issue with President Maithripala Sirisena.

The parties - Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) - were opposing Rajinikanth's visit and had advised the cine icon to reconsider his decision. They warned him that he will earn the wrath of the Tamil community if he goes ahead with the visit, scheduled from April 9.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the 66-year-old actor said he accepted the invitation because he wanted to see the places where the Tamils lived and died for their cause in the island nation.

"I wanted to meet Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, to discuss and find a solution for attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen," he said.

Earlier this week, Lyca Productions had announced that the "Enthiran" actor will hand over the keys to 150 homes built for Tamils by Gnanam Foundation on April 9 in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

VCK chief T. Thirumavalavan had said that Rajinikanth's visit might prove to the world that things are back to normal in Sri Lanka.

In reply to Thirumavalavan's statement, Rajinikanth said: "I'm not a politician, but merely an artist."

On the career front, Rajinikanth is currently busy shooting for Tamil science-fiction action film "2.o", a sequel to his own 2010 blockbuster "Enthiran".
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