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'Thousands of Tamils are getting killed for the sake of one lady'

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May 07, 2009

Bharathiraja, the legendary Tamil movie director, is campaigning against the Congress party in Tamil Nadu. He has the support of fellow director Seeman and actors Vadivelu and Manivannan, among others, in this endeavour.

He has pledged to campaign against Congress candidates contesting from Tamil Nadu, including high-profile candidates like Union Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, who is contesting from Sivaganga and Union Panchayati Affairs Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar [Images].

Bharathiraja had planned to protest against Sonia Gandhi's [Images] rally in Chennai, but the Congress president called off her rally, citing Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam [Images] supremo Karunanidhi's [Images] ill health.

In an interview with's A Ganesh Nadar, the director claims that the Congress is an "enemy of Tamils."

Why did you organise a black flag demonstration against Sonia Gandhi?

We have been highlighting the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka [Images] for the past six months. The central government has not taken any action. Tamils continue to die in Sri Lanka, from bullets and from starvation.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has visited Colombo twice. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] have spoken to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and asked him to protect the Tamil civilians.

That is useless. Every time someone visits Sri Lanka or speaks to them on the phone, the Sri Lankan president makes a press statement: 'India is with us in the war against terrorism'. And they continue killing helpless, unarmed civilians.

Are you blaming the Congress for the war in Lanka?

Yes. They are responsible. They can stop the war, but they are not doing anything.

In what way is the Congress responsible?

They are supplying arms and ammunition, training Lankan soldiers and giving money to the Lankan government to sustain the war.

Why would they do that?

They are taking revenge on behalf of Sonia Gandhi. Thousands of Tamils are getting killed for the sake of one lady.

The Congress has filed a complaint with the Election Commission, claiming you are asking people not to vote?

They are behaving like children. Let them fight us democratically. If they have a right to ask people to vote for them, we have a right to tell people not to vote for them. We never told people not to vote.

Who are you supporting in this election? Do you think that another political party will do more for the cause of Lankan Tamils?

We are not supporting any political party. We are canvassing against the Congress, not for any party. The people can vote for any party except the Congress.

Do you think demonstrating with black flags is democratic?

Of course! It is a democracy. This is a sign of protest. They are welcome to try and stop us.

What are you planning to do next?

Till the last day of canvassing, that is May 11, we are going to tour every Lok Sabha constituency that the Congress is contesting from and ask people not to vote for the Congress, which is the enemy of Tamils. After that, we will decide our next step.

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