The ongoing debate on Sri Lanka in the Indian film world in general
and the South Indian Film Industry (SIFI) in particular is intriguing
and thought provoking. The recently concluded IIFA awards festival was
devoid of the participation of leading film stars from India presumably
on account of the pressure mounted by the South Indian Film Industry on
Bollywood film stars to stay away. Interestingly, we have not seen any
statement on the IIFA from either the representatives of the Tamil Nadu
Government or major political parties. It is not clear if the Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Opposition Leader in the State J
Jayalalitha are supportive of the campaign for boycott of IIFA and
shooting of Indian films in various locations of Sri Lanka.
In contrast to the high pitched campaign against the IIFA, we have
not seen any of the South Indian Film Industry people seeking similar
treatment vis-a-vis cricket. The Indian cricket team represents the
entire India including the South India. The moot question is why the
South Indian film industry is looking at this issue as very much
narrow-minded perspective? As far as we know Indian films and cricket
are part and parcel of the life of many of Indians. Both fields cut
across ethnic barriers and are above ordinary politics. Then what is the
rationale for the IIFA boycott by the South Indian film industry? Do
they look at Sri Lanka as their enemy? The time has come for the South
Indian film industry to rise above narrow considerations. They should
realize that their campaign against Sri Lanka would only adversely
impact the poor marginalized Tamil people in the North and East of Sri
The South Indian Film Industry can play a big role in Sri Lanka. Sri
Lanka is now experiencing post war reconstruction and rehabilitation and
this is going to be a more painful process than conducting a war. We
have IDPs in the camps to be resettled very soon, people need shelters,
education, health, food and water, sanitation, de-mining and many more.
If the South Indian film industry looks at these burning issues in a
critical way we can think and say we all are on board to support them.
Nobody wants to be left out when we support this community. If they go
against Sri Lanka, at the end of the day the North and East people will
go against South Indian film industry very soon. The Government of India
has been in the forefront of the effort of the Sri Lankan Government in
rebuilding the lives of the war affected and the credit will go to the
Congress Party and the Manmohan Singh Government.
The big brother and close neighbor India has always been a family
member of Sri Lanka. Both countries have a long history of shared
culture and bonds. Buddhism came from India. As we all know it is not a
Sri Lankan born religion. This tells us how close the people of Sri
Lanka are religiously and culturally for centuries.
As we all experienced that three decades of war by the LTTE started
with politically motivated issues was gradually transformed from a
guerrilla moment to terrorist outfit. Both India and Sri Lanka have had
experienced the bitterness of that conflict, India lost its former Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lanka lost its head of the State R
We don’t want again that bloody conflict on Sri Lanka. The time has
to come for the healing process. We all should look at the big picture
with an open mind and seek answers on where we went wrong and how we can
make a new beginning. We should look at a new way of social integration
for all the communities to live in harmony. We have a long way to go.
Those of us who could not go for the Colombo leg of the Bradby but
saw the match on TV along with some in the Commentators’ Box are not
sure whether Royal beat Trinity by the slim margin of one point. For it
was not clear certainly to the naked eye that the crucial try was
However being brought up in the tradition of listening and believing
the whistle of the referee we take it that Royal beat Trinity by one
point. Does this mean that like in other sports Rugger too should have a
third referral point?
In life there is a matter of the law of the averages. So those of us
who went to the school in Kandy are hoping that when the two schools
meet at Trinity’s home grounds not only will the one point difference be
handled but also that the Bradby returns to Kandy.
After having stated the above it must be said that the match in
question was a classic. Perhaps the best match among schools for a long
time. And certainly the winner was Rugger.
Royal having had a series of defeats did very well indeed.
And Trinity playing on Royal’s home ground did remarkably well.
I saw the Royal-Dharmarajah match in Colombo. And Royal have
certainly come a long way since that match with Dharmarajah.
Very few club matches reach this standard and elegance. Both Royal
and Trinity must be congratulated for this excellent Rugger. Thanks to
all those responsible for the Royal and Trinity Rugger.
This is regarding some views expressed in a television program by the
presenter herself recently through a program which interviews
politicians every week.
In this particular program the presenter asked the interviewee ‘what
is your idea about using a mosaic in certain scenes when telecasting
films/tele dramas. She repeatedly asked this question as the interviewee
seemed not taking it serious and she expressed her own ideas saying it
is disturbing the viewer.
When the interviewee was querying as to what particular aspect which
she was referring to, she was telling that it was alcohol/tobacco
She further said that there are ample major corruptions in this
country which are greater affecting the society and why the authorities
prohibiting smoking scenes, which is not a serious matter.
We agree that there are many issues facing society and that tobacco
may not be the worst. But tobacco carries with it a number of
ramifications, including the health of the smoker, the health of those
exposed to secondhand smoke, public health resources, family poverty,
food security, environmental degradation, litter and toxic waste, etc.
Though the TV presenter considers this issue as a negligible matter,
we would like to show that it is a matter which could in long-term
contribute to aggravate other leading problems such as enticing of
children and youth to initiate to smoking by following their dream
celebrities and thus getting addicted to smoking and finally joining the
massive number of tobacco victims causing untimely mortality and
I would like to highlight that media has the potential to influence
the attitudes and behaviour of young people towards tobacco products and
thus initiate to smoking. Results of experimental studies suggest that
viewing movie characters who are smoking enhances viewers’ perceptions
of how socially acceptable smoking is.
The vast majority of people start using tobacco when they are
children. By the time they are adults, they are addicted. Many studies
have shown that children are greatly influenced by what they see in the
movies and children that see movies with tobacco use depicted are more
likely to start using tobacco themselves. The tobacco industry knows
both of these facts very well and often pays to have tobacco use
depicted in movies. This practice is actually banned in the US and some
Exposure to ‘on screen smoking’ also has been found to influence
viewers believes about the social consequences of personal smoking.
The findings from experimental studies contribute to the
understanding of how vicarious learning effects may occur in response to
smoking behaviour symbolically modeled in movies. Research indicates
that images of smoking in films can influence people’s beliefs about
social norms for smoking, beliefs about the function and consequences of
smoking and ultimately their personal propensity to smoke. Certain movie
depictions may be more likely than others to promote pro-smoking
Causing morbidity and mortality in the productive years of people in
a country is indeed a problem to the society, the government and the
economy of a country.
The solution to protect the enjoyment and right of a viewer in
watching tele-dramas or films or other entertainment activities through
television should not be negligent on the enforcement of law.
If the respective media institutions wish to show those scenes, then
they should declare such productions as ‘Adults Only’ to prevent
children from seeing such dramas or films.
An announcer may inquire the views of people through an interview,
but he/she cannot express her/his own views, according to the ethics of
journalism. Also they cannot pressurize or demand the authorities
dissuading them from proper enforcement of law.
Our major objective is to prevent children who are the main target of
the industry, from initiating to smoking.
Today, there are plenty of lucrative job opportunities for
well-English educated people in the local and international job markets.
In fact, the ability to communicate in English is considered as
essential job qualification in Sri Lanka. Therefore, all school as well
as university students should realize that the knowledge of English is
of utmost importance to make their future brighter.
University students represent the educated young generation of any
country. They are the people who will become administrators or high
officials in various fields of a country. Therefore, the competency in
English is essential for university students to materialize their future
In fact, it is pathetic that the English competency among most of the
university students remains at a lower level. Considering this issue,
the government has taken far - sighted decisions to promote English
knowledge of university students. One such decision was revealed to the
media by Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake recently. According
to him, the Higher Education Ministry has already taken steps to hold an
examination after completing a six-month English course for all the
students who enter the university from this year onwards. The completion
of this course and the passing of this exam have been made compulsory
for each student who intends to do his or her degree course at the
Otherwise, they will not be allowed to follow their expected degree
courses. This is because the government wants to encourage university
students to master the English language as well as other foreign
languages. Otherwise, their university degree courses are not
internationally recognized. Furthermore, measures are being explored by
the government to establish private universities in our country. Then
all undergraduates will have to follow their degree courses in English
medium. Considering all these facts we must admire the praise-worthy
decision of the government to hold a special six-month English course
prior to starting the degree courses of the university students.