For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Two of Sri Lanka’s popular artistes have been subjected to death threats , according to reports reaching Lanka e news.
One of them who received threats is an artiste who had participated in a number of electronic media programs and is popular for being candidly critical of the political situation in the country. He had received a number of death threats by phone over the last several days. The caller’s number however could not be identified. The murderous callers have warned him against taking part in the programs , and that if he does not desist , he would have to face the white Van and its criminals.
The other artiste under death threat is , a son of a doyen (a senior artiste ) in the same field. He is employed in a State media Institution. When the regime had asked the senior artiste to create a drama on ‘nelum pokuna’ (lotus pond) – ( a white elephant of a drama ), he had replied that if only the present ‘army administration’ is eliminated , he could produce the requested drama .The regime which was provoked and enraged over this , had started maneuvering to axe this artiste , and after ‘pumping’ money towards the other artistes, had pretended that its ‘lotus pond’ project is a success. Thereafter , the criminal white Van had been sent by the Idi Mahin regime to trail behind the son of this senior artiste.
It is learnt that these two artistes are now keeping a low profile after getting security detail to protect themselves.
May we recall , when the Idi Mahin brutal murderous regime was abducting the Tamils in its infamous criminal white van and when the victims went missing , the artistes remained silent calling the victims , ‘they are tigers’. Subsequently when the Muslims were abducted , they said , ‘those thambys are being abducted because they must have supported the Tigers’ and kept quiet. Thereafter when ‘criminals’ were abducted , they alleged ,’ those are heroin peddlers’, and remained quiet . When the media personnel were abducted and they were caused to disappear , they dismissed it saying ‘ those are the media which wrote in support of the NGOs’. Even when attempts were publicly made to abduct the SLFP Mayor of the Govt. itself elected on people’s votes at local polls , they ignored it saying , ‘after all , he was not abducted , hence why worry’. Now , the white Van has started coming after the very artistes who didn’t care two hoots when the white van was abducting others. Now , are the artistes going to say , ‘nothing to worry they are after only those two artistes, not us’? . Are the religious leaders , the intelligentsia and the law abiding citizens also going to stand idle and watch all these heinous crimes being committed in their own midst before their own eyes with complete impunity , and continue saying selfishly,’after all when we are safe , why worry’.