President Maithripala Sirisena assured local artists that the Government will take necessary action to protect the film industry and artistes.
He made this pledge when he discussed current issues in the film industry in Sri Lanka with the members of the Association of the Sinhala Film Artists on Tuesday at the Presidential Secretariat. The discussion focused on the challenges and problems faced by the cinema industry.
The artists pointed out that the Sri Lankan cinema industry which has a history of more than 60 years has been protected even at a grassroot level and is surviving due to the sponsorship and support given by the changing governments. They said that the government’s assistance is essential to produce quality films and to screen them.
They also drew the President’s attention to issues arisen due to contradicting of the relevant policies in governing the screening, importation and distribution of the films.
“Due to these issues there’s no opportunity to screen valuable cinema productions,” said the film artists requesting the President’s intervention into this matter. They further requested that authority not be given to the private sector to distribute the films but retained with the Film Corporation.
The President assured that the Government will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect the film industry of the country and the artists and requested the artists to submit their suggestions in writing to him.
Expressing his views regarding excluding the taxes on imported films and Tele-dramas the President emphasised that the Government is working in regard to this paying their special attention, they will not allow any room for injustice to local artists.
President Sirisena informed the artists that he will take further steps regarding the film industry of the country after consulting all institutions and organisations of the industry as well as the responsible persons.
Prominent artists including Ravindra Randeniya, Malani Fonseka, Jeevan Kumaratunga, Cletus Mendis, Sriyani Amarasena, Robin Fernando, Sangeetha Weeraratne, and Rex Kodippili participated in this event.