Toronto: The 300,000-strong Canadian Tamil community has hailed Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan for not attending the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony in Colombo.
While labelling Bachchan as the "great ambassador for mankind", a community leader Sunday hit out at other Bollywood actors, including Salman Khan, who took part in the three-day event, calling them a "disgrace" to India.
"Big B is really big. This name suits him, and he is our hero today. We Tamils salute him. By not going to Sri Lanka, Big B stands tall among Tamils around the world," said Canadian Tamil Congress national spokesman David Poopalapillai here.
"Tamils are proud of Big B, his family and all the Indian actors who refused to become hosts of Sri Lanka which has innocent Tamil blood on its hands. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts," the Tamil leader said.
"Bachchan has shown that he cares for us. He has shown to the world that he is a great ambassador for mankind and a great champion of human rights."
Poopalapillai said the Tamil diaspora would "suitably reciprocate" his gesture at appropriate time.
Hitting out at Bollywood actors who attended the awards function that ended early Sunday, the Tamil leader said: "By standing with those who have our blood on their hands, these stars have disgraced themselves. Sri Lanka held this ceremony on thousands of bodies of innocent Tamils. These actors have brought disgrace to India which believes in the Gandhian principle of respect for human rights."
He said the awards ceremony was a ploy by Sri Lanka to divert world attention from its "war crimes".
Taking a dig at Salman Khan who has criticised Amitabh Bachchan for not attending the extravaganza, Poopalapillai said, "Who is this Salman Khan? He stands nowhere near Big B. So how can people like him criticise Mr Bachchan?"
South Indian film personalities such as Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam boycotted the 11th edition of the IIFA Awards.