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 Post subject: Sri Lanka bans film about incest - "Aksharaya"
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:26 pm 
SriLankan rights group fears ban on film about incest

@ LBO / 28 April 2006

Apr. 28 (AFP) - Censors could ban the screening of a sexually-charged art film exploring the incestuous relationship between a Sri Lankan mother and child, a media rights group said Friday.

The Free Media Movement (FMM) expressed its concern over the fate of Ashoka Handagama's "Aksharaya", or "Letter of Fire", which was produced partly with French funding.

"Such a ban would be tantamount to state censorship of independent filmmakers and a grave curtailment of Mr Handagama's freedom of expression," the FMM said in a statement.

Handagama said the Public Performances Board had earlier given him permission to screen the film but had now retracted it.

"The imposition of a higher morality... deprives the public of artistic works of merit, denies people the freedom of choice and strangles the growth of free media and filmmaking in Sri Lanka," the FMM said.

The film explores an incestuous relationship and abuse.

"Through Handagama's artistic expression, the film is an unflinching look at the darker issues of humanity, exploring relationships between mother and son, husband and wife, gender and society, morality and sexuality, of those in positions of power and authority and those excluded from it," the FMM said.

Culture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said he would not allow the film to be screened unless several cuts were made.

He said an investigation should be conducted because a child actor in the film had to see a woman naked.

"I think a severe injustice had been done against the child actor who appears in the film," the minister said. "This child who is less than 12 years old was exposed to full nudity of a young woman.

"Then he commits two murders in the film. The film begins with the scene with nudity. We will only allow the film to be screened in public if these scenes were taken off."

- Amal Jayasinghe

 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 1:57 am 

Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 3:08 am
Posts: 3
Aksharaya (a letter of fire)

Aksharaya (a letter of fire) is the latest move of international awarded Mr. Ashoka Hadagama. It should be release to Sri Lankan audience in this year. But after get all the legal permission to release, The Cultural Affaires Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana
has ban the film in his own unfairly decision. In addition Minister has said this is a blue film & I never allowed to public release of this film. OK, lets we think Aksharaya is a blue as Minister says. But we all know a lot of English blue films have been showed in Sri Lanka under the title of “adults only”. Mind you I am sure that Hadagama don’t waste his creativity to make a blue film. However Aksharaya maybe an uncommon creative expresses as Hadagama’s other work. But Minister’s bawdy mind can not understand such a thing. We also know it is a common sense Cultural Affaires is an invalid Minster post in our country. Therefore the man who is not having any other talent is appointing as Cultural Affaires Minister. Not problem if he is a top order foolish.

But it is a big problem to srilanken “intelligent” cinema fans. Sri lanken cinema has wide range creativity. We also have same ability of aesthetic. We can’t allow losing those things because of someone’s rural ideas. They couldn’t have limited our feelings range. Because Sri Lanka is a democratic country. Not a communist or Not a Kingdom of Mahinda. Aksharaya may be opposite to “Mihinda Chinthanaya”. But remember that all the srilanken are not “mahindalas”.

This ban is a massage of some kind totalitarian. And also it is a problem about our freedom. Therefore we must announce our protest.

Let’s rally to Protect Sri Lanken’s Freedom of Expression.

Send your protest about film banging to www.aletteroffire.info

Nuwan Eranda.

Note – Those attachments are some srilanken civil organization’s protest letters relate this film banging. If you are also think this is a real problem to Sri Lanken’s Freedom of Expression then please forward this mail to all your friends. If you have some ideas about this matter, add it all and forward.

1. Young Film Makers Association (Sri Lanka) announced theirs resist to Minister of National heritage & Cultural affairs about his unfairly banning of Ahoka Hadagama’s new move AKSHARAYA. This is the press release letter which announced theirs opposition.

2. Another organization called national movement 4 liberation of arts has announced theirs protest about unfairly ban of Aksharaya – A Letter of Fire - to The Cultural Affaires Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. In additions they said this banging is a part of hiding processes which is inability of government to take care children as well as other problems of country such as economical, terrorism,.. ect. This is the press release letter which announced those things.

 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 9:50 am 
This is good place for a discussion, Thanks for the opportunity.
First of all I have to tell you all about this director, he is influenced by foriegn funded organisations which really want to ruine our culture. I strongly belive Mr. Handagama is one of those representatives. At the start he showed his wive's nudity to the world, this time the holy concep of mother.
You all are talking about this boy and the picture, why don't you speak up about the total context. Mother is a holy and sacred thing for all of Sri Lankan's irrespective of the religion. This film is the first step of demolishing that concept. What he wants is to push our culture towards French nature which will lead to a spoit culture. I do agree that the cuture has been spoilt, but still mother's do NOT have sex with their loving sons, even mentally.
You all have to remove your glasses and watch this incident closely. This guy, Mr. Handagama should be hung to death - Tha's my conclusion.
Thank's Mr. Minister.

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