Budding Bollywood actress and former Miss Sri Lanka Jacqueline Fernandez says “everything is pretty much set” to host the International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) show in Sri Lanka next month.
Her latest remarks, published in Dubai’s Khaleej Times Online on Saturday, follow an outraged cry from pro-Tiger activist groups that Indian stars should not visit Sri Lanka to participate in the awards ceremony
“This is our chance to show the world that we as Sri Lankans are united and have managed to put the past behind us to move on for the betterment of the entire country,” she was quoted as saying in the report.
“Right now we’re going through an amazing period because we’ve finally come out of a severe conflict,” she noted, in a phone interview.
Jacqueline has been deemed part of the local welcoming committee for IIFA guests. She accompanied IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan during his recent visit to Colombo.
Fernandez also said that contrary to the current buzz it would not be director Mani Ratnam’s Raavan featuring Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan that will premiere at IIFA.
“I think it’s going to be Raajneeti instead. The movie is definitely going to be screened there and since it’s so close to the release date, I’ve heard that it will probably be the premiere film,” said the actress.
Fernandez, who has grown up on a staple of classic Hindi films that she claims are quite popular in her native land, will also participate in the opening act of the ceremony.
“It’s going to be done by a local choreographer and will be a proper, traditional Sri Lankan welcome dance. I’ll be accompanied by a fabulous dance troupe. I’ll also be walking the ramp for a very talented local designer.”
The actress noted that the tourist board is hoping that the country will turn into a shooting locale for Hindi films “since it’s a very scenic place and has much to offer in that respect.”