Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Citizens must be treated as adults

As citizens who are concerned about the social wellbeing of Sri Lanka, we are extremely sensitive about the abusive use of power by the bureaucrats on the cinematic and television medium.

We are undergoing authoritative implementations, which surpass the legal authority of the Public Performance Board (PPB) over cinematic creations, thus the Sri Lankan audience have lost the moral right of the experiencing cinema, which is indigenous to this country.

This impediment are diverse in nature and PPB is also being threatened by the afore mentioned mafia. We here by abhor and detest these barbaric actions.

We strongly believe that the citizens of our country have the capacity to critically analyze and evaluate not only the artistic standards but the ethical issues associated with a cinematic experience. We deem that the basis of democracy is where the citizens is considered as an adult and he/she has the capacity to decide on the social, political, economical and ethical means.
Democracy is raped where the said right of a citizen is distorted. Thus we loath and abominate the abusive use of power and censorship by the state authorities who distort the democratic right of decision making.

We, the citizens of this country and its authorities must keep in mind that Sri Lanka is a partner to the International Consortium for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); according to its well-known 19th article, the government should not violate and most importantly must actively protect citizen’s right to access information, communication and language utilization.

We sternly denounce the authorities’ who impose censorship on cinema, which can be strictly segregated as only for adults when necessary, and the same authorities who have blind eye on the childhood abuses executed by the television medium, which is accessible to the children without any obstructions; we charge that the authorities have directly exposed the children to the ethical apocalypse executed by the television medium by creating structures and conditions which imperialize the society with commercial capital and political supremacy.

Considering all these particulars,

As citizens who are concerned about the well-being of Sri Lanka, we forward our strict demands on the afore mentioned issues to the liable State authorities.

# Treat the citizens as adults; do not intimidate film audience.

# Restructure the State owned television channels in line with Public Broadcasting concepts as to be independent from the commercial capital and in order to work towards the assertion of human, cultural and educational ends.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Several moths ago, a group of friends,
or rather a group of friendly groups sharing one dream,
a single passion and a relentless desire, got together>>>

The reason >>>
not just to do something,
but to do something together

At that time, the main issue of discussion was the extraordinary series of events that took off with Wimukthi Jayasundara’s film “The Forsaken Land” - Sulanga Enu Pinisa - The actual politico-historical conditions of this gathering, however, are a good deal deeper than these events themselves.

They were the realities which forced our groups to join forces, the realities which made us believe that creating our OWN group, with our OWN theories and agendas, far from helping us to realise our dreams of eradicating capitalism, racism or sexism, it only helps to take us farther and farther away from the very things we are fighting for…

From the Seattle movement to the upcoming resistance in Hong Kong, the modern way of hitting back has been our own guiding star in this perilous journey. In short, we decided to create a “movement” instead of the time honoured method of creating a “party”. Risky. Very Risky.

We no longer have the confidence of the old Marxists who believed that history is on their side. What we have, is merely a glimmer of a hope. But that is all we want…

Then came the biggest event in the Sri Lankan mainstream of politics. It is believed that, presidential election is the most difficult challenge to the alternative political groups, since it involves the massive polarization of the society into the two main parties. This time, it was a different case for us. A vacuum was created, a big space was open, for a politic that would not support both the pro-liberalism of one side and the nationalistic communitarianism on the other.
Moreover, a large number of intellectuals and artists of various hues who were frustrated and alienated by the poor political culture of this society also gave their invaluable support to us.
Things began to move. Hope was flickered. A definite movement was taking shape and it was given a name: November Movement.

Few things were there to be done, just before the election. We had to record our presence; we had to make sure that history books will not say that all of Sri Lanka (at least the southern part of it) was united in her polarization between neo-liberalism and communitarianism. A press advertisement was issued and a media conference was organized.

This is the story of the November Movement. It is not working on a centrally controlled, one size-fits all model. It is a place open for anyone who believes that this world is not quite ok and we have to do something to change it. Anyone who has the courage to see the very things we are forced to ignore by all the power mechanisms in the world. It is not only our movement; it is also your movement.

It is, furthermore, not a story that will end soon. It is a story that will grow and expand, increase its scope and power so that one day, it will play the important role of being the umbilical code between the, slowly emerging but potentially successful, global resistance movement and the thousands of hearts that dream to be a part of that reality in this small island.