Production house Lyca today expressed sadness over the "negative environment" surrounding its charity programme involving actor Rajinikanth in Sri Lanka, and denied links with the Rajapaksa family, as claimed by some outfits in Chennai.
Lyca’s Gnanam FoundationWe are saddened by the development of a negative environment surrounding the aid programmes of a charity to further the political gain of some elements. We don’t want the Superstar (Rajinikanth) to be subjected to an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.
The actor, currently filming 2.0 produced by Lyca, was slated to hand over houses to 150 displaced Tamils at an event in Vavuniya in North Sri Lanka on 9 April, built by the foundation. He had, however, given in to opposition from pro-Tamil outfits, who cautioned him against his "involvement" in the ethnic issue, and called off his visit on Saturday.
"Consequently, it is with profound regret that we inform you that the events planned on 9th of April in Jaffna, and Mr Rajinikanth's visit to Sri Lanka, have been cancelled," the foundation said in a statement.
It also reiterated that it had no business ties with former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, criticised in Tamil Nadu for the civilian deaths during the peak of armed assault on rebel LTTE in 2009.
Lyca’s Gnanam Foundation It is a well-known fact that numerous baseless rumours have been fabricated by our business competitors, stating that we have a business relationship with the past Rajapaksa regime. Our continuous actions to date have proved that such reports are untrue and unfounded.
Some of its business competitors were still continuing to make such allegations, it claimed.
However, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), one of the political parties which opposed Rajinikanth's visit, refuted Lyca's charges. "Our motive is not to oppose Rajinikanth or Lyca or seek publicity. If Lyca thinks so, it is sheer imagination," VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan said.
Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) founder T Velmurugan, who had also opposed the visit, could not be reached for a comment immediately.
Rajinikanth had announced his decision to cancel his Lankan visit on 25 March, after Thirumavalavan and Velmurugan, besides MDMK founder Vaiko, had requested him to do so.