The Fifth ViBGYOR International Short and International Film Festival was held at Sangeeta Nataka Academy Campus, Thrissur in Kerala, India from February 16th to 21st, 2010. Approximately 100 short and documentary films were screened at the festival. ViBGYOR promotes films with alternative views on the areas including social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues in the South Asian region today. Many radical intellectuals in the South Asian Region and other parts of the world were among the invitees in the festival. During the six days of the festival, a number of forums and mini conferences were organized on the social and political issues highlighted in the films.
Siritunga Jayasuriya, the USP General Secretary, and Gamini Viyangoda, writer and activist, were invited to the intellectual panel from Sri Lanka. Siritunga was the guest speaker in the session, ‘Justice, Peace and Democracy in South Asia’. Siritunga delivered his speech on the topic, ‘Ethnic Conflicts in Sri Lanka and What Now’. In his speech, Siritunga clearly stated that defeating the LTTE has not solved the problem; now the situation has to be dealt with a much broader perspective. The government has to bring a solution to the issues of the Tamil population in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Democracy has to be established and people have to be given the right to live in dignity. Basic needs have to be provided. Instead, the Sri Lankan Government has turned the guns against the working class and poor people of the nation in the name of maintaining stability and security.
Gamini Viyengoda delivered his speech on ‘Threat to Freedom of Expression and Democracy in South Asia’ with special reference to the ‘Freedom of Expression Under Threat in Sri Lanka’.
Jagadish G Chandra