Noted playback singer Mano had been to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo to perform at Killinochi at an event to be presided over by president Mahinda Rajapakse. The singer, who had gone along with his contemporaries Suchitra and Krish, hastily beat a retreat as he sensed that the opposition to their trip back home in Tamil Nadu had gained momentum which might have ‘undesired’ effects on their singing careers.
The event was to precede an election campaign meeting at Killinochi where Rajapakse, seen widely in Tamil Nadu as the ‘man responsible for the genocide of Lankan Tamils’, was to deliver speech. The trio of singers left for Lanka by the early morning flight. On getting to know this, many Tamil organizations, including Vaiko’s MDMK came down heavily on them and criticized them for their trip to the ‘banned Island nation’.
Apparently bowing to pressure, Mano cancelled his concert which was to take part later in the day. In a statement issued to the press from Colombo, Mano has said that “With due respect to all the Tamil fans, I’m to say that we were invited to hold a concert prior to the inauguration of a stadium. Only after landing up here did we come to know that it was indeed an election meeting to be addressed by the Lankan president.
“We got many calls from Tamil Nadu asking us not to perform at the event. We are still in Colombo and have decided not to take part in the event to be held in Killinochi tonight. We would never say or do anything that might even remotely hurt the sentiments of the Tamil-speaking populace living all over the world. We are returning to Chennai as soon as possible and won’t be performing at Killinochi,” the statement concluded.