MUMBAI, August 24, 2013 (AFP) – A Bollywood spy thriller set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war has been pulled from British and some Indian theatres after protests over its depiction of rebel fighters, the movie’s distributors said Saturday. The bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, which cost up to 100,000 lives, erupted between government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who were fighting for an independent Tamil state. Both sides are accused of human rights violations.
Sri Lankan troops declared an end to 37 years of ethnic war after wiping out the leadership of the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.
Sri Lanka has resisted international pressure for an independent investigation into war crimes despite what the UN calls “credible allegations” of up to 40,000 civilians killed in the final battles in 2009. Madras Cafe, which opened Friday, features John Abraham as an Indian secret agent sent to Sri Lanka during the island’s decades-long conflict between the government and separatist Tamil rebels.
But the film has failed to reach a number of cinema halls after ethnic Tamil populations in India and in Britain complained that they were unfairly portrayed.
“Our UK exhibitors, Cineworld, decided to hold back