Mr. Dharshana Medis, who had been invited to make the keynote address at the ‘Godage National Literature Festival’ held at J.R. Jayawardene Center in Colombo on the 7th boycotted the festival and abstained from making the keynote address when he suddenly realized the ‘festival’ was being held with the official participation of the government machinery.
Mr. Medis speaking about his decision says, “I gladly accepted the invitation for the key note address at the ‘Godage National Literature Festival’ under the impression that it was being held as an alternative to the NationalLiteraryFestival. I have no political dealings with an institution that has hunted down arts, put shackles on the rights of people for free expression and is generally engaged in cutting down democratic rights. Hence, I decided not to take part at this event. I express my regrets to art appreciators who had come expecting to listen to the speech.
Also the theme of the intended speech was ‘Tolstoy – a retrospect.’ As you know Tolstoy was an ardent opponent of the tyrannous rule. Is there any other insult that could be made to this great man than participating at a parley having this despotic institution in front?
This is the reason for my boycott. It is your right to take any decision,” said Mr. Medis further.