The president of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Thol. Thirumavalan, has expressed his concern over the Tamil actor, Vijay Sethupathi’s role in the upcoming ‘800’ movie in which he is to act as former cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, as controversy around the upcoming film continues to grow.
The VCK have previously raised their opposition in relation to the actor’s role of a man who has been a “consistent apologist for Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism and has frequently disparaged the Tamil nationalist movement."
Yesterday, a tweet from Thirumavalan directed at Vijay Sethupathi read:
“Don’t consider our pledge to not act in such a controversial movie to interfere with an artist’s freedom.
This is the unresolved #hugepain of millions of Tamils. No one is going to get enraged if a Sinhalese plays that role.
@VijaySethuOffl You have to realise this.”
See tweet here.
Tamils from across the world continue to express their opposition to the biopic by using the hashtag #ShameonVijaySethupathi, calling on him to drop the film. Dozens of leading political figures across Tamil Nadu and the Kollywood industry have joined the outrage on social media, calling for the film to be scrapped.
Though Muralitharan is an ethnic Tamil, he has been a long-standing supporter of Sinhala extremists, including backing Gotabaya Rajapaksa for presidency last year. Previously Murali stated he “did not have any problems as a Tamil”, and even claimed that former British prime minister David Cameron had been “misled” over reports of abuses faced by Tamils. He has also compared Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya's older brother and former president who also stand accused of war crimes, to Nelson Mandela.