Srilankan Film Maker Attacked at Gemini Lab

A Sri Lankan filmmaker who came to Chennai to complete the Tamil version of his maiden film ‘Prabhakaran’ was inhumanly assaulted by a violent mob last Tuesday. Thusara who completed the Sinhala version of his film which revolves around the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and recruiting of child soldiers had come to Chennai on March 20 to make the Tamil version of the film.

The attack took place Tuesday at the Gemini Colour Laboratories in Chennai where his maiden celluloid venture “Prabhakaran” was undergoing final processing. A group of people who are supposed to be the members of the Film Technician Union who were under the impression that the film was about Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and that it was critical of the rebel leader and the Tamil separatist campaign. The attackers shouted angry slogans against Peiries for producing an “anti-Tamil” film. At least one of them beat him up. Sent back to Colombo Wednesday by the Indian authorities for his own safety, Peiries said he was still bleeding from the nose and was vomiting frequently. He had a cut on his back and his eyes were bloodshot.

Thusara Peiris’s ‘Prabhakaran’ revolves around a suicide bomber who escapes from the LTTE and how he had become what he was. The film depicts that neither the Sinhala nor Tamil people are to be blamed for the war but are the victims being subjected to long lasting misery. ‘Prabhakaran’ was the result of an extensive film making course followed at the Cine Citta Institute in Italy by the filmmaker. Thushara received a scholarship and the film is part of his film course project. Thusara had obtained the contribution of several persons who had worked earlier with the LTTE. They had given immense support for the film which has the sub-theme of child conscription.

According to the director the film is mainly focused on giving a new dimension to the thirty year-old-war. The film is to be released in Rome and is to be dubbed into Tamil and English and other foreign languages.

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