Protest-hit Bollywood awards get under way in Sri Lanka
AFP - Google,
June 05, 2010.
COLOMBO — India's version of Hollywood's Oscars ceremony got under way in Sri Lanka's capital Saturday without some of the megastars who faced pressure from Tamil groups to stay away from Colombo.
The Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards opened at Colombo's Sugathadasa Stadium, marking the climax to three days of events connected with the "Bollywood Oscars," which have been held at a foreign venue since 2000.
Sri Lanka rolled out the red carpet for India's film fraternity, but IIFA's own brand ambassador and actor, Amitabh Bachchan, stayed away following protests by pro-Tamil groups outside his Mumbai home.
The Colombo ceremonies were marred by boycott calls from the influential Tamil film industry in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which has close cultural and religious links with Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority.
The Tamil lobby has argued that staging the event in Colombo endorses the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
The president is under pressure from the international
Published: Sat Jun 5 16:23:01 EDT 2010