Flying Fish Investigated – Cultural Activist intimidated

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The Production Company officials  of the international award winning Sinhala film ‘Igilena Malu’ (Flying Fish) that was subjected to controversy after its screening at a French Film Festival held last week — were questioned said the e CID.

Acording to the Daily Mirror Asia Digital Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd., Consultant and Movie Director Kelum Palitha Mahirathne “I was questioned by CID officials concerning basic details about the film such as inspirations or influences that led to the making of the movie. I provided all the details I was aware of, which was not much, as even I haven’t watched the film entirely. . .”

He said the film was produced four years ago but they were not planning to release it in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Mahirathne said the CID officials had requested a copy of the movie as well.

“This movie was produced to lend a helping hand to a young, up and coming film director. We have agreed to provide a copy to the CID and we will be providing every detail necessary to assist its investigations,” he said.

The film was subjected to criticism and controversy last week after it was screened at a French Film Festival held at the BMICH. It was criticized for content that is alleged to have depicted derogatory material on the Sri Lankan armed forces. The BMICH took immediate steps to suspend the film festival.

Mean while a number of leading social activist and artist have com out strongly on intimidating media reports regarding the contribution of prominent cultural activist Gamini Viyangoda –

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Protest Against Intimidating Social and Cultural Activists

We the undersigned, who stand for justice and democracy, note with regret and concern the use of State media, especially the Independent Television Network (ITN) that uses its air time to stick labels on and intimidate social and cultural activists who stand for plurality and fair play and for their dissenting views.

It is almost habitual for ITN to vilify and attack dissenting voices and the most recent victim of such irrational, racist and intimidating attacks over ITN in its 07.00 pm Sinhala news bulletin on Sunday 14 July, 2013 was reputed writer, columnist and media activist Gamini Viyangoda. His name had been dragged into the controversy of the suspension of the French Film Festival on 12 Friday 2013 for screening the Sinhala film directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakuamara, “Flying Fish”, held at the BMICH. It should be clearly said, the certification for screening provided for this film by the Public Performance Board had been exclusively for this festival and Viyangoda, certainly has no role in it.

Gamini Viyangoda as we know quite well, is a well known public figure, who had always stood for freedom of expression, the rights of the oppressed and for minority rights including power devolution. It is his right to express his convictions and conscience without restrictions.

We believe Gamini Viyangoda’s political convictions that we know disagrees with this government, but to disagree is a fundamental right in a democracy, was reason for the ITN to accuse and vilify Viyangoda as a “conspirator” over the screening of the film, “Flying Fish”. We stress it is a right of citizens to watch the film and form their own opinion. It can not be the prerogative of the government, to form opinions and thrust them on a society.

We therefore condemn most vehemently the attempt to vilify and disgrace Gamini Viyangoda and demand the ITN tender a public apology for the defaming and threatening media use against Gamini Viyangoda, an independent and a reputed writer and columnist in our public sphere.

Consented to stand with the above statement;

01. Wijeyananda Jayaweera 02. Parakrama Niriella

03. K. W. Janaranjana 04. Kusal Perera

05. Dr. Udan Fernando 06. J. C. Weliamuna

07. Nalaka Gunawardne 08. Melani Manel Perera

09. Liyanage Amarakeerthi 10. Sudharshana Gunawardne

11. Anton Marcus 12. Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardne

13. Herman Kumara 14. Prasanna Vithanage

15. Dharmasena Pathiraja 16. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake

17. Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne 18. Jayathilaka Kammellaweera

19. Nimalka Fernando 20. Gamini Akmeemana

21. Lionel Bopage 22. Marisa de Silva

23. Saroj Pathirana 24. Upul Wickramasinghe

25. Balachandran Gowtham 26. B. Shanthakumar

27. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos   28. Chulani Kodikara

29. Sr. Noel Christine     30. Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

31. Dr. Nishan de Mel     32. Jake Oorloff

 
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