“Silenced Voices”

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beate Arnestad, director of “Silenced Voices,” and Sonali Samarasinghe, one of the film’s subjects, discuss the film, which tells the story of Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was gunned down by eight men in broad daylight in Colombo. His wife, Sonali Samarasinghe, was forced to leave the country by the government. Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. According to official sources, nearly 25 journalists have been killed there since 1992, at least 10 of whom were targeted by suspected government or opposition Tamil Tiger forces. “Silenced Voices,” will be shown as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.


Beate Arnestad and Sonali Samarasinghe

Comments [4]

Gerard Francis

One either has to believe in the right to self-determination ( not going into whether internal or external at this juncture)or believe that there are no differences between humans thus requiring no cultural, language , religious ,ethnic or geographical separations ( which on the surface looks quite mature and learned,but is patently delusional).
World bodies,powerful nations and even individuals vacillating between these ideas as they see fit to suit their purposes is what results in chaos,war and general dissatisfaction with such bodies like UN who only have R2P on their books for garnish.

Jun. 28 2012 06:58 AM
T. Kumaran

Thank you Beate Arnestad for the limelight on Sri Lanka and plight of Tamils.

Thank you Leonard Lopate for airing this feature. As you say on the show, there is more to Sri Lanka war than the 'final end'.

Here is what Prof Elie Wiesel said in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka-LTTE 'final war' and plight of Tamils in June 2009:


Wherever minorities are being persecuted we must raise our voices to protest. According to reliable sources, the Tamil people are being disenfranchised and victimized by the Sri Lanka authorities. This injustice must stop. The Tamil people must be allowed to live in peace and flourish in their homeland.

- Elie Wiesel, June 30th 2009

Jun. 28 2012 12:42 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'm glad Ms. Arnestad made a point of saying how nuanced both the history & the current situation in Sri Lanka are. I have a friend whose family was severely affected by the war, in large part because of their activism against the extremes on both sides, so I've heard about some of the complexities involved.

Jun. 25 2012 01:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queeens

The Tamils have more right to a state than do the Palestinians. Why is there no world outcry over the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka?

Jun. 25 2012 01:09 PM

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