Sri Lankan director back in Chennai

Tamil speaking people of Chennai had earned wrath of neighboring country Srilanka in connection with the assault of the Sri Lankan film director Thushara Peiris. The incident took place last week when the director had come to Chennai for the processing of his film titled Prabhakaran. A group of people who are supposed to be the members of the Film Technician Union including Seeman and Suba Veerapandiyan who were under the impression that the film was about Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and that it was critical of the rebel leader and the Tamil separatist campaign. The attackers shouted angry slogans against Peiries for producing an “anti-Tamil” film. At least one of them beat him up. Sent back to Colombo Wednesday by the Indian authorities for his own safety, Peiries said he was bleeding from the nose and was vomiting frequently. He had a cut on his back and his eyes were bloodshot.

The injured director started his protest fast March 26 and gave it up March 27, after the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister promised to intervene. The director is now in Chennai with special security provided by the Central government on the request of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. He has come to collect his film which was confisticated by Gemini Labs. Peiris’ movie is titled Prabhakaran, the same name of the Tamil Tiger leader who has been battling Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority since 1972. The movie portrays the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a ruthless terror outfit that forces schoolchildren to join their ranks — something that has been well documented by rights groups. But the film takes the allegations of ruthlessness a step further, with the protagonist forced into suicide missions despite being pregnant.

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