A scene from film Prabhakaran
Sri Lankan journalists demand the robbed film Prabakaran while some Chennai politicians think otherwise
Many professional journalist associations in Sri Lanka told the Indian High Commissioner (ambassador) in Colombo that since both India and Sri Lanka hold the freedom to express opinions as a fundamental right in their supreme law the envoy should make his good offices to get the robbed copies of the film “Prabhakaran” released from the studio immediately.
In a joint statement the journalists associations told Colombo’s Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad, “We believe that right to hold and express opinions are fundamental rights accepted by both our countries (India and Sri Lanka) and enshrined in our respective constitutions".
In the joint memorandum addressed to the envoy the Sri Lankan journalists said, that creating films or any other cultural production connected to a social, economic or political theme is to exercise "this inviolable right".
The journalists further asserted, "It is in this context that we believe the recent attack against Thushara Peiris is a violation of that right...We wish to register our disquiet about this incident."
In an earlier report the victim Thushara Peiris told newsmen , "They punched me on the eye, on the nose and hit me on my head. I fell on the ground," describing the attack on him by allegedly pro-LTTE elements in Chennai.In their joint statement the Sri Lankan journalists thanked the security personnel who had come to rescue film director of the film Prabhakaran from the marauding politically motivated mob who prevented further physical harm to him and said, “Our organisations have been informed that the master tape of the film is still at the Studios and we urgently request the intervention of your good offices to return these master tapes.”
While the journalists were protesting in Colombo pro-LTTE groups in the DMK coalition government
and who were allegedly involved in the assault of the film director were bringing pressure on the Tamil Nadu government not to release the illegally seized film. A group comprising Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan, his sidekick Vanniyarasu, pro-LTTE director Seeman, Dravidar Iyakka Tamilar Peravai president Suba Veerapandian reportedly met the Chief Minister
Muthuvel Karunanidhi in this regard.
Indicating the film “Pabhakaran” has already become a hot political issue in Tamil Nadu , a Tamil Nadu Congress leader Ilayankudi S Shabir Ali lodged a complaint with the Chennai Commissioner of Police Nanchil Kumaran to take action against director Seeman, Dravidar Iyakka Tamilar Peravai president Suba Veerapandian and VCK functionary Vanniyarasu for opposing the film as it would amount to supporting the terrorist outfit. They reportedly threatened a fast in front of the police station if no action is taken against the obvious illegal act.
Thushara Peiris , whose company spent 35 million Rupees in making the film told a Sri Lankan Sunday newspaper that after the attack at Chenniai Gemini Colour Laboratories where he was processing the Tamil version of the film " I was kept in a room in the laboratory and was not allowed to talk to the media." Thushara said , after the assault a meeting was summoned with the film technicians, police and officials of the Indian Censor Board and had demanded to watch the film to which Thushara had agreed. However Thushara was made to sign a letter stating that if it contained any scene against Tamils or terrorists it would not be allowed to be screened in India, the newspaper said. During the attack the mobsters were shouting to burn the film, he said.
Many analysts in Colombo said the pro-LTTE elements in Tamil Nadu certainly did not want the Tamil population to know how Tamil children are being treated by the Tamil Tigers and hence this seizing of the film occurred taking law into their own hands.