Even as Salman Khan insists his visit is not political, Opposition parties in Sri Lanka claim otherwise. An opposition candidate even claimed that Khan was offered (Sri Lankan) Rs700 million [Dh19.5m], which the government has denied. In fact, a section of the Indian media, too, alleges that he is campaigning for Sri Lankan President.
But Salman Khan, who is touring with actress Jacquline Fernandez, says, “I came here for the IIFA five years ago and I became very close with Namal and his family. Later I came here to do the movie ‘Red’. Since it is the New Year, I took a day off to come and visit your flood affected areas and see the victims. Through my charity I want to help people and spread awareness among them. Also through this camp we will be doing cataract operations and will be giving more medical assistance to the people.”
“This is what we do and it is nothing political. The President is an amazing man and he is one of the most humble people that I have met. Four years ago when I came here, it took me one-and-a-half-hours to go to the hotel that I was staying. But today, it took me only 20 minutes to reach here”, he added.
However, this did not pacify Sri Lankan politicians as several of them urged immigration officials to deport the actor as soon as possible.
And when Salman Khan was informed by Lankan media that artists have been attacked, he replied; “I’m quite unaware of the attack on artistes because I come from Mumbai and I have not been following what is happening here.” “I would like to ask all people of Sri Lanka to be happy and that I will once again come for another movie and God Bless all of you,” he said.
Meanwhile, Salman Khan earned the ire of politicians in Tamil Nadu, as they also claim they he visited Lanka to campaign for the President in the forthcoming elections.
MDMK and DMK have criticized the actor for his trip. (Emirates 24×7)