Director of banned Sri Lankan film denies insulting army

Sri Lanka
Colombo, July 17: The director of a banned Sinhala movie set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict and civil war has denied accusations that he had attempted to discredit and insult the country's army.

Sri Lankan authorities had ordered the suspension of a film festival here organised by the French Embassy over the inclusion of the movie 'Flying Fish', saying the film "insults the security forces and the government".

"It was not my intention to insult or to portray a defamatory image of the security forces of Sri Lanka in any way through the film 'Flying Fish'," said Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, director of the movie.

"Flying Fish" comprises three narratives set against the backdrop of ethnic conflict and the civil war that ended in 2009, when government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate state for minority Tamils.

Lakshman Hulugalle, a defence ministry spokesman, had on Friday termed it "an illegal film which insults the security forces and the government".

Pushpakumara was also accused of using images of the army uniform without permission. He said his only "intention was to present the realistic circumstances of war-torn lives artistically and truthfully in broad a humanist angle.

The inspiration for this film is derived from the lives of me, my family and friends." He said, "The film narrates my direct or indirect personal experiences and relationships with different people who entered and departed from my life".

Besides, Pushpakumara denied any relationship whatsoever with the Tamil diaspora, NGOs or any other donor organisations as accused of by the state controlled media.


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