Stories of silenced voices – a documentary
Pre-premiere of ‘Silenced Voices – Tales of Sri Lankan Journalists in Exile’ and panel debate
The Fritt Ord Foundation invites the public to a debate and film screening of Silenced Voices – Tales of Sri Lankan Journalists in Exile on Thursday 9 February 2012, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vika Cinema (Vika 2) in Oslo. There will be an introduction and a debate after the documentary film screening featuring director Beate Arnestad, and Bashana Abeywardane, journalist and writer from Sri Lanka living in exile, writer and former BBC Foreign Correspondent in Sri Lanka Frances Harrison andSverre Tom Radøy, journalist in Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Co-organiser is Human Rights Human Wrongs Documentary Film Festival.
Silenced Voices – Tales of Sri Lankan Journalists in Exile is a film of freedom of speech and the messengers of truth to portray how much individuals are willing to offer to bring information to light. The film is told as a personal encounter with exiled journalists from Sri Lanka who have been “silenced” and almost killed in their home country because they exposed war crimes, corruption and massacres of civilians. They claim these crimes are being committed by the state. Sri Lanka is ranking one of the worst countries in Asia with respect to freedom of expression. In the past years, many have disappeared or are found tortured and killed. Close to 50 media workers have recently fled the country.
Beate Arnestad has over twenty years of experience producing and directing content for departments at Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Her first independent and award- winning documentary was My Daughter the Terrorist (2007) filmed during the time Arnestad lived in Sri Lanka. She is also behind the documentary Telling Truths in Arusha (2010).
Bashana Abeywardane is a Sri Lankan journalist and a writer living in exile. He has been working as a journalist since 1992 and was forced into exile in 2006. He is currently serving as the Convener of the exiled Sri Lankan rights group, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS).
Frances Harrison is author of a book on the last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka, soon to be published! Former BBC Foreign Correspondent in Sri Lanka (and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Iran), former Head of News at Amnesty International and Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University’s International Relations and Politics Department.
Sverre Tom Radøy is journalist in Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and writer of the bookReiser på Sri Lanka – Norges øy i tropene (2008).
Bashana Abeywardane and his wife Sharmila Logeswaram, A. Lokeesan, journalist and writer from Sri Lanka, and Sonali Samarasinghe, lawyer and award-winning journalist/editor from Sri Lanka. For over a decade of a career spanning 23 years she worked with her husband editor Lasantha Wickrematunge until 8 January 2009 when he was brutally murdered by Sri Lankan authorities. Shortly thereafter Sonali was forced into exile due to threats to her own life. She continues the struggle as Editor of the Lanka Standard website.