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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sri Lanka: Rally against Banning Film ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ !- Society of Socialist Art

( Screen shot from the ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ (Silence in the Courts trailer)

The temporary ban on Prasanna Vithanage’s film ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ (Silence in the Courts), at a time when it is necessary to have a productive dialogue in the society regarding the political environment of our country and more and more artistic creations should be presented to the society, as a denial of the artistes’ right to create; an obstruction on the freedom of expression states a communique issued by the Society of Socialist Art.

The communique signed by Chandrasoma Binduhewa, Deepani Silva and Premaratna Tennekone states, “Anyone can get the assistance of the judiciary on behalf of their rights. However, the issue is the danger of making use of such decisions by the government as precedents to censor the right of expression of artistes.”

Full text of the communique:
Rally for the rights of all artistes

“In the dark times

Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will also be singing.

About the dark times” wrote Bertolt Brecht.

We consider the temporary ban on Prasanna Vithanage’s film ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ ((Justice is silent), at a time when it is necessary to have a productive dialogue in the society regarding the political environment of our country and more and more artistic creations should be presented to the society, as a denial of the artiste’s right to create; an obstruction on the freedom of expression. Many artistes including Prasanna Vithanage are awakening the hearts of the society against the present dark era through their imaginative creations

Throughout the past we stood for and struggled for freedom, democracy and specially the right of expression of artistes. We were not concerned whether we struggled on the streets, Parliament or in Courts. The struggle is not over yet.  Despite an approval had been given by the Public Performance Board for ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ film, a temporary enjoining order has been taken. We see this as a boost for the censorship of the right of expression of artistes. Anyone can get the assistance of the judiciary on behalf of their rights. However, the issue is the danger of making use of such decisions by the government as precedents to censor the right of expression of artistes. We call upon all intellectuals, artistes, civil organizations and the people of this country to rally against such moves.

Signed by Chandrasoma Binduhewa, Deepani Silva and Premaratna Tennekone.

– lanka truth

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