5 December, 2023


Sri Lanka’s State Media Intimidates Columnist Gamini Viyangoda

Protest Against Intimidating Social and Cultural Activists

We the undersigned, who stand for justice and democracy, note with regret and concern the use of State media, especially the Independent Television Network (ITN) that uses its air time to stick labels on and intimidate social and cultural activists who stand for plurality and fair play and for their dissenting views.

Gamini Viyangoda

It is almost habitual for ITN to vilify and attack dissenting voices and the most recent victim of such irrational, racist and intimidating attacks over ITN in its 07.00 pm Sinhala news bulletin on Sunday 14 July, 2013 was reputed writer, columnist and media activist Gamini Viyangoda. His name had been dragged into the controversy of the suspension of the French Film Festival on 12 Friday 2013 for screening the Sinhala film directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakuamara, “Flying Fish“, held at the BMICH. It should be clearly said, the certification for screening provided for this film by the Public Performance Board had been exclusively for this festival and Viyangoda, certainly has no role in it.

Gamini Viyangoda as we know quite well, is a well known public figure, who had always stood for freedom of expression, the rights of the oppressed and for minority rights including power devolution. It is his right to express his convictions and conscience without restrictions.

We believe Gamini Viyangoda’s political convictions that we know disagrees with this government, but to disagree is a fundamental right in a democracy, was reason for the ITN to accuse and vilify Viyangoda as a “conspirator” over the screening of the film, “Flying Fish”. We stress it is a right of citizens to watch the film and form their own opinion. It can not be the prerogative of the government, to form opinions and thrust them on a society.

We therefore condemn most vehemently the attempt to vilify and disgrace Gamini Viyangoda and demand the ITN tender a public apology for the defaming and threatening media use against Gamini Viyangoda, an independent and a reputed writer and columnist in our public sphere.

Consented to stand with the above statement;

01. Wijeyananda Jayaweera

02. Parakrama Niriella

03. K. W. Janaranjana

04. Kusal Perera

05. Dr. Udan Fernando

06. J. C. Weliamuna

07. Nalaka Gunawardne

08. Melani Manel Perera

09. Liyanage Amarakeerthi

10. Sudharshana Gunawardne

11. Anton Marcus

12. Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardne

13. Herman Kumara

14. Prasanna Vithanage

15. Dharmasena Pathiraja

16. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake

17. Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne

18. Jayathilaka Kammellaweera

19. Nimalka Fernando

20. Gamini Akmeemana

21. Lionel Bopage

22. Marisa de Silva

23. Saroj Pathirana

24. Upul Wickramasinghe

25. Balachandran Gowtham

26. B. Shanthakumar

27. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos

28. Chulani Kodikara

29. Sr. Noel Christine

30. Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

31. Dr. Nishan de Mel

32. Jake Oorloff

33. Anomaa Rajakaruna

34. Fr. Terrence Fernando

35. Fr. Emanuel Sebamalai

36. Ainslie Joseph

37. M. H. Mohamed Hisham

38. Mano Ganesan

39. Siritunge Jayasuriya

40. Hans Bilimoria

41. Damaris Wickremesekera

42. Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu

43. Ruki Fernando

44. Emil van der Poorten

45. Sampath Samarakoon

46. Dileepa Karunarathna

47. Sumanasiri Liyanage

48. Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

49. K. S. Ratnavale

50. Sunil Jayasekera

51. Paba Deshapriya

52. Manjula Wediwardne

53. Sumith Chaminda

54. Dr. Sumathi Sivamohan

55. Vimukthi Jayasundera

56. Chandragupta Thenuwara

57. Karu Jayasuriya MP

58. Eran Wickramaratne MP

59. Dr. Navaratne Bandara

60. D.B.S. Jeyaraj

61. Prof. H. L. Seneviratne

62. Indika Udugampola

63. Prof. Jayantha Seneviratne

64. Pradeepan Raveendran

65. Mahesh Munasinghe

66. Dilrukshi Handunnetti


Related posts;

We Received The Public Performances Board Authorisation For Flying Fish – Embassy France

French Film Festival Organised By French Embassy Is Suspended By BMICH

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Do you all came together for Viyangoda. What about Sanjeewa Pushpakumara? This one is the most ‘fucking’ one I have ever seen.Shame on you half headed ‘Academics’!!!

  • 0

    You people have still not got it.

    It is the prerogative of the government, to form opinions and thrust them on a society.

    It is in the best interest of the government not to allow freedom of expression otherwise you people will do untold damage to the skewed democracy of the ruling elite.

    I hope you got it now.

  • 1

    This is a shame on the ‘motherland’ but it’s not surprising. I want to sign the petition but there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism to do that.

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