Somaratne Dissanayake turns against President

Says govt. has done nothing for film industry in a decade


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Leading Film Director Dr. Somaratne Dissanayake yesterday pledged his support to Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, claiming that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had done nothing for the welfare and development of the film industry in the country for the past ten years.

Revealing his decision at a press conference held at Solis Hotel at Pitakotte, he said that he had received a call from a person (whom he did not name) asking him to keep his mouth shut if he did not want to support the President.

Dr. Dissanayake stressed that corruption, fraud and family interests promoted by President Rajapaksa had prompted him to sever his links with the government.

He said the government had done nothing for the development of the film industry for the past ten years despite his (Dissanayake’s) support for the President on two previous occasions. "I respect him for defeating the LTTE in 2009, but we cannot let him ruin this country. We gave him another six years for his great service in 2010. But, we cannot give him another term," he added.

Responding to a query by a journalist who asked why famous artistes like Malini Fonseka, Ravindra Randeniya, Jackson Anthony and many others who joined with Dr. Dissanayake at his previous presidential election campaigns were not with him now, he said that there were many artistes who had obtained advantages from president Rajapaksa and therefore they were worried of losing their privileges and kept silent. He charged that the President was only concerned about glorifying himself with his executive powers.

Dr. Dissanayake said that he decided to join Maithripala Sirisena to fight corruption, fraud and nepotism promoted by the President and there was an immediate need to remove or repeal the executive presidency and restore judicial independence. He noted that many more artistes would join him in the future to defeat President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election.

Dr. Dissanayake also alleged that President Rajapaksa was abusing government media and misusing public property.

Several film directors and actors including Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Bennet Rathnayake, Jagath Beneragama, Gamini Viyangoda, Nalin Pradeep Uduwela and Laxman Mendis joined Dr. Dissanayake to support common candidate.

Film Director and Play Writer Dharmasiri Bandaranayake alleged that the government would label them as NGO activists or LTTE supporters as they spoke against it, but the former LTTE leaders like Karuna Amman and Kumaran Pathmanathan had been given government posts and security.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...