Brushing aside uncertainty over some top Indian film stars including Amitabh Bachchan not participating in the forthcoming IIFA awards here, Sri Lankan government today said majority of them have confirmed their participation.
"Some small group in Tamil Nadu is bringing pressure on some stars dissuading them from attending the International Indian Film Academy Awards function," Deputy Minister for Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who is associated with the event, told reporters.
"About 97% of the top stars have confirmed with the exception of Amitabh Bachchan and his family," he said without giving further details.
It is still uncertain whether the 67-year-old megastar, who is the Brand Ambassador of IIFA, will attend the award ceremony or not. His son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will not be attending as they are busy promoting their film Raavan.
The film's director Mani Ratnam as well as actor Kamal Haasan have decided not to attend. Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Arjun Rampal are also giving it a miss citing prior work commitments.
The three day IIFA event beginning June 3 will also include a business forum, fashion show and a charity cricket match involving Indian and Sri Lankan movie and cricket stars such as Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Sunil Shetty, Hrithik Roshan and Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the International Indian Film Awards Joseph Sabhash said the event will lead to massive development in Sri Lanka.
The country will be able to enhance its multi national relationships through this festival, he told the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation. It will also pave the way for more foreign investment in the island.
IIFA business forum will be declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the festival, the SLBC reported adding this will help enhance trade ties between Sri Lanka and India.
Meanwhile, IIFA Ambassador to Sri Lanka actress Jacqueline Fernandez has said this film festival is very much important to the country. All measures have been finalised to hold it in grand scale.