Tamils for Obama: Urges IIFA to Move the Award Ceremony from Colombo Until Justice is Found for Murdered Sri Lankan Tamils

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Tamils for Obama is asking the India International Film Academy (IIFA) to move its award ceremony from Colombo to some other location. Holding the awards in Sri Lanka's capitol honors the country that murdered 40,000 unarmed Tamil civilians in a few weeks in May 2009, said the American Tamil organization, and white-washes the Colombo government's participation in the killings.

Tamils for Obama has asked the India International Film Academy (IIFA) to remove their award ceremony from Colombo. Having the event in the capitol of Sri Lanka, they said, will help the Sri Lankan government hide their support for the killings and will make it appear that the Indian movie industry considers the killings not worth talking about.

The Tamils for Obama spokesman said "Most Tamils enjoy Hindi movies in their leisure time. They like the Hindi actors and actresses and appreciate the music and dramatic stories of the Hindi movies. They were shocked to hear that their favorite actors, actresses and musicians are planning to go to Colombo to hold an award ceremony.

"Many Diaspora Tamils urged us to convey this message to IIFA: that Tamils were shocked that their favorite artists can ignore the suffering caused by Sri Lankan state. The IIFA would be honoring Sri Lanka and overlooking their ruthless killing of Tamils."

It is hard to state an exact number of civilians killed during the last stage of the war, the spokesman said, but cited "One UN observer, Gordon Weiss, who was in Sri Lanka during the massacre, [who] stated 'I think most likely it's somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000' people killed.' This, in just a few short weeks," said the Tamils for Obama spokesman.

Find Mr. Weiss's statement here: http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/watch/id/600331/n/War-Stories

"We think it is better for IIFA to change the location to someplace other than Colombo," said the spokesman for Tamils for Obama. "If the event takes place in Colombo, we urge the artists not to participate.

"We commend the decisions of some Tamil actors and directors, including the Hindi super star Amitabh Bachchan, who have decided to avoid the event in Colombo.

"We should add that Amitabh Bachchan is not the only one staying away from Sri Lanka," the Tamils for Obama spokesman added. "We've heard that the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting has been moved out of Colombo, probably to Australia, for 2011.

"We've also heard reports that the Sri Lankan government is likely to face war crimes investigations by the United Nations," the spokesman continued. "Of course, nobody can predict what the U.N. is going to do. Sri Lanka has managed to slip away from such investigations in the past, and they are now getting heavy protection from China. But we think that even the reports will make damaging publicity for anyone who chooses to be associated with the Sri Lankan government. The IIFA should be more careful."

To read the entire press release in Tamil go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/pressrelease/IIFA_Tamil.html

To read the press release in Hindi go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/pressrelease/IIFA_Hindi.html

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. During the final weeks of the recent civil war, the Sri Lankan government killed about 1,000 Tamil civilians per day, according to the United Nations, and about 40,000 in 2009. The Tamil are a population in Sri Lanka has borne the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One-third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.

To contact the group, call at (617) 765-4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.



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