Sunday, May 28, 2006

Nihal De Silva Among Eight Killed In Wilpattu

According to sources, Nihal De Silva, author of 'The Road From Elephant Pass', 'The Far Spent Day' and 'The Ginirella Conspiracy' was among eight people killed yesterday in a landmine explosion in the Wilpattu National Park.

'The Road From Elephant Pass' which won De Silva the Gratiaen award in 2003, is largely about the Wilpattu National Park. The author's love for wildlife is clear in both 'The Road From Elephant Pass' and the 'Ginirella Conspiracy'.

In 'The Road From Elephant Pass' follows Captain Wasantha Ratnayake of the Sri Lanka Army and female LTTE cadre Kamala Velaithan as they journey from Elephant Pass to Colombo. The LTTE's 1999/2000 attack on the Elephant Pass base forces the two to make their journey on foot across the Wilpattu National Park.

The location of the blast, about 50km from the main gates to the Park, is in close proximity to the northern border of the park, the geographical beginning of LTTE held Vanni. The area saw intense fighting before the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement. The park which had been closed for much of the war, has been open for the past three years. It is not clear if this explosion is related to the recent increase in confrontations between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army, or if the landmine predated the Ceasefire Agreement.

Today's 'Sunday Times' states that a Colombo 07 family were among those killed in the the blast. According to the source De Silva had accompanied the family.

Wildlife officials entered the park this morning to recover the bodies.

The movie 'The Road From Elephant Pass', based on the book, is in pre-production. As the locations available in Sri Lanka are either unsafe or inadequate, much of the shooting is scheduled to be carried out in Malaysia.


Here's Your Chance

So the JHU has already jumped on the bandwagon we talked about in the post before this. They put out a press release yesterday saying they support the banning of the 'Da Vinci Code' as it may hurt the sensitivities of certain groups. Brilliant. The statement goes on to say that they don't believe that artists have unlimited freedom and if they do something that hurts the setsitivities of someone else then that should be stopped.

So the JHU now has the Catholic Bishops of this country by their side in the fight to turn this country into a Theocracy. Yipee!

All that was missing in this country was a vocal group of Christian Fundamentalists (imp: vocal). We have Jihadis and the Allah-Hu-Akbar-BANG-BANG crowd in Puttlam and in Ampara. Can we please ask Karunanidhi to arm the Swamis who run the Hindu temples? Then at least there'll be some equality.

But what happens when the Sinhala Buddhist Right Wing gets where it's going? Do the Catholic Bishops really think that they're going to be tolerated anymore? Once the JHU and the likes get powerful enough the Catholics, Anglicans, AoGs, JWs, Seventh Day Adventists, Pents and Tom Dick and Rev. Fr. Harry are all going to have to walk the plank.

Anyways the Bishops are not going to be persecuted in their lifetimes, being the old men they are. So they're just fucking it up for everyone else. Hope they're happy.

So here's a thought, why doesn't someone in the Catholic community speak up and start some petition saying you want to allow the 'Da Vinci Code'. We know how everyone whines and whines about how the moderate Muslims don't criticise the extremist Imams. In my opinion that's a very good reason to whine about.

Well, so here's your chance. Prove yourselves. Do all of you believe that it was correct for the Bishops to call for the banning of the film? If no, speak out against the banning.

Show us what moderate Christians of Sri Lanka are made of.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Partners In Crime

The President's decision to ban 'Da Vinci Code' shows that when we thought the Three Kings (Mahinda, Ghotabhaya and Basil) were ruling this country, we were wrong. There can be little doubt that it was the President's wife Shiranthi Rajapakse, a devout Catholic, who made up his mind for him. So now it's Three Kings + a Queen.

However, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka did ask the President to ban the movie. It's sad that they don't understand the full extent of the damage they have caused to the personal freedoms of the people of this country.

Let us look at this banning in the present context, where the Sarth Silva, Somarathna Balasuriya, Kusala Sarojini and a handful of others are trying to ban Ashoka Handagama's film 'Aksharaya'. So far, the mad monks of the JHU have not jumped on the anti-Aksharaya bandwagon. They have been secretly cheering the attempts to ban the movie, but they have not directly spoke about it yet.

By banning 'Da Vinci Code', the president has sent a clear message to other religious groups that the movies that they want banned, will also be banned. By giving into a little bit of pressure from the catholic Church, (and a lot of pressure from his wife) the President has set a very scary precedent. Now, if the JHU or even three random monks say they want 'Aksharaya' banned, then it will be banned by the President, and there will be no way to challenge that decision.

By playing right into the hands of the President, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has made themselves partners in the present Government's efforts to curtail personal freedoms, particularly the freedom of expression. But then, the Catholic Church has never had any problems supporting and financing oppressive, dictatorial Governments.

With Shiranthi as their live-in representative to the President the Catholic Church now has a way to save it's own bacon. But do they worry about the other children of their god? Me thinks not. When Sinhala nationalist, Buddhist extremist groups attack fringe Christian groups and missionaries the Catholic Church stays silent. Why? Because it serves their purpose. The fringe groups attempt to bring under their wing Catholics disgusted with the present Church in addition to new converts. In fact when attacks on the Churches of fringe groups started the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka did not even bother to issue a condemnation, stating instead that if these fringe maniacs are trying to convert people, they deserve what they're getting.

But I digress...

And before I end, if the Prsident decides what we watch and don't watch, then why do we have a Public Performances Board which normally hands out the 'ok' certificates? Does the President watch all the movies that are shown in this country? Should he waste his time this way?


Thursday, May 25, 2006

JVP Terrorists

Here's a story...

On the 24th of May, two Tamil youth and one Muslim youth who were filming a protest organised by the JVP youth group Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), were apprehended by the protesters, manhandled and handed over to the Fort Police Station. These students were carrying national identification and student identification cards, but the IUSF mob had already decided that these students were LTTE members.

The Fort Police soon informed IUSF convenor Duminda Nagamuwa that they had no case against the trainee journalists as the Fort Railway station area was a public space and the demonstration was for the public and anyone had the right to film it. Nagamuwa's requests to erase the tapes were denied.

Nagamuwa then called JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa who in turn called the Senior Superintendent of Police. Weerawansa ordered the arrest of the three students. The OIC of the Fort Police was humbled by Weerawansa's call and despite his previous acceptance of the fact that there was no case against the students, he offered them an ultimatum: Hand over the tapes or get arrested.

lankatruth reports this story differerently. Tells us a lot about how operates. The only truth for the them is that anyone Tamil is a terrorist.

What does this mean?

The JVP, IUSF, JHU or any one of the right wing Sinhala extremist groups can haul off anyone they like to the police station, and the police will then arrest that person.

If they don't like a journalist, they can haul him off to the police and ask for his tapes to be erased, or his film to be exposed or his notebook to be destroyed.

The law of the land is Wimal Weerawansa and the JVP and their goons. Not the police or the courts. The police and the courts do what Wimal and the boys want.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Aksharaya Trailers

Not a lot of people have seen Asoka Handagama's movie Aksharaya (A Letter of Fire) and if the Minister of Culture has his way then not many more people are going to see the movie.

If you Google Aksharaya you can fine out enough about the debate surrounding the movie. Personally I think the movie should be screened and the Minister for Culture should go screw himself. We have enough people trying to do moral policing in this country, the last thing we need is for some illiterate Minister who's incapable of stringing two words together trying to decide what we should abnd shouldn't see.

You can read more about the debate on the Aksharaya website.

Meanwhile, here are the trailers.

| Trailer 01 | Trailer 02 | Trailer 03 | Trailer 04 |


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