The film LEADER censored by the authorities

Five media collective condemns the suspension of the film “Leader” for general distribution by Public Performance Board (PFB). The film was directed by popular actor and opposition politician Mr. Ranjan Ramanayaka. He plays the main role in the film.

The film portrays a satirical parody of Sri Lankan politics, bribery and corruption. It begins with a comical musical of scandals and politicians, with characters resembling popular political leaders dancing and singing. The song says this is ‘comedy country’. This clip is among the number of other clips that has been ordered to remove by the Public Performance Board.

According to the director Ranjan Ramanayake censoring the scenes ordered by Public Performance Board not only suppress of artistic freedom but will disturb the continuity of the movie, making it meaningless. The film script and all scenes of the film were approved by the chairman of the PFB earlier, according to the director.

In our opinion censoring the Film Leader is a one more step in the direction of suppression of artistic freedom in Sri Lanka. Number of films and tele dramas has been banned officially and unofficially during the last three years, mainly on political grounds.

Political satire has been the theme for many film makers and dramatists all over the world. Lampooning authorities is part of the artistic creations form ancient times.  These are rights enjoyed by the people for ages and enshrined in all human rights charters.

In this context five media collective urges the PFB to revive its decision to censor the film Leader and permit the film for public screening.

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