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Why Indian Attacks ‘Prabhakaran’ director?

"While I was there Tamil newspapers carried my presence and the making of the film created headlines," he went on. However as he was completing the final touches to the film on Tuesday, March 25, a mob who claimed they were film producers and technicians staged a protest in front of Gemin lab and in the evening as Thusara was leaving for his hotel had attacked him mercilessly.
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by Susitha R. Fernando

(March 30, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Was it a petty racist reaction to a cinematic creation or an attempt to prevent Sri Lankan films coming into Indian theatre? Whatever the reason be, the inhuman attack on young Sri Lankan filmmaker Thushara Peiris who was subjected to cruel and merciless mob attack by hundreds of Indians including film producers, directors and technicians within an Indian Laboratory premises would not be condoned by any human being nor anyone who loves cinema.

Thushara went to India with his maiden film 'Prabhakaran' to make its Tamil copy and he was at Gemini Colour Laboratory in Chennai since March 20."The procedure to pass a film through Indian Censor Board is not an easy task. We have to produce an English translation of the Sinhala version of the screenplay, then the Tamil version, cast list, their background details and so many other details," Thushara explained the harrowing experience he had in India.

While I was giving these details to the Censor Board some details of the film had been leaked and misinterpretation and misleading news had been spreading about the film labelling it as an anti Tamil and anti LTTE.

"While I was there Tamil newspapers carried my presence and the making of the film created headlines," he went on. However as he was completing the final touches to the film on Tuesday, March 25, a mob who claimed they were film producers and technicians staged a protest in front of Gemin lab and in the evening as Thusara was leaving for his hotel had attacked him mercilessly.

‘They demanded that the film be destroyed,’ the young filmmaker who had spent nearly Rs. 35 million to complete both Sinhala and Tamil versions of the film said.

Following a severe assault and cut on his back Thusara's dress was torn into pieces by the violent Indian mob at Gemini Lab premises. Later as the media and the police were approaching the place the assailants who introduced themselves as film technicians had given him a shirt and forced him act as if nothing had happened.

"However I was kept in a room in the laboratory and was not allowed to talk to the media," Thusara claimed. 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 Thusara had agreed. However Thusara 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.

Later officers of the Indian Intelligence R&AW and Police had escorted Thushara, leaving his film at Gemini laboratory, to his hotel, where all his belongings were packed and prepared to send him back to Sri Lanka immediately. As soon as he returned to Sri Lanka Thushara was admitted to hospital.

‘Without seen the film they had labelled my film as a propaganda for Mahinda Rajapaksa government which it is not. It is a film I made about the suffering and misery faced by the youth in Sri Lanka and I want every Tamil to see it,’ the filmmaker said.

However Thushara also complained that more than racial motives there were business motives behind the attack. The film was bought by a distributor to be released in India and angered by this Indian film producers instigated this violent attack on me. If this allegation is true the incident proves the superiority complex prevailing in the minds of the Indian film technicians.

‘We hire their labs, their equipment and their skills and we are their customers but this ishow they treat us. They can come to Sri Lanka and do any damned film and release any number of copies of their trash but they are against a single Sri Lankan film being screened in India’ Thushara complained.

‘However this type of treatment hadn't discouraged me and I have been strengthened more,’ he said in a determined tone. ‘My appeal to the Film Corporation or any other relevant authorities is to protect my film because the Tamil people have the right to see it,’ the filmmaker claimed.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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