Actor Amitabh Bachchan will attend the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards function at Colombo in June, even if just for a day, a top official of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) claims.
“Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are definitely participating. And as for Amitabh, he will also come, even if only for a day,” the official told Express on the condition of anonymity.
Preparations for the event, to be held from June 3 to 5, are already on full swing.
“About 50 personnel of Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd have already been put on the job here,” the official said.
“The opposition to the event is only in Tamil Nadu.
Other states are okay with it,” he pointed out.
Other officials told the local media that objections raised in Tamil Nadu by politicians like Vaiko had been encountered before and events had taken place regardless of them.
The SLTB, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and other institutions view the IIFA Awards event and its related activities as avenues to promote the nation as a business and tourist destination.
But, Tamil nationalist forces in Tamil Nadu have opposed the participation of Indian mega stars in this high-profile event on the grounds that it would amount to legitimising the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s bid to absolve itself of waging a war against the Tamils in north Sri Lanka from 2007-2009.
After a group of Tamils protested in front Bachchan’s house in Mumbai, the star had said he would not like to hurt anybody’s feelings and a decision that was acceptable to all would be taken after consultation with the organisers. This had led to speculation that he would not attend the IIFA event, of which he is the brand ambassador.