Anti-rape film screening stayed
The Colombo District Court last week stayed the public screening of
award-winning film maker Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film ‘Silence by
the Court’ following a case filed against by a former district judge.
An interim injunction was issued by the Colombo District Court
temporarily suspending screening of the film in public cinema circuits
until the 19th of this month.
Former District Judge Lenin Rathnayake, made an application seeking a
permanent injunction to prevent the screening of the film to which
Colombo District Judge N.U. Gunasekara made the order after considering
the facts presented before courts.
The litigant claimed that the film, ‘Usaviya Nihandai’ (Silence by
the Court), which is apparently based on a true story of a woman
sexually abused by a district judge, was causing damage to his character
and the reputation of the entire judiciary since the allegations were
‘baseless, unproven and unfounded’ and that no legal action had been
taken on the matter. The film, which is presented in docu-drama form and
is the first of its kind in Sinhala cinema, was earlier screened at
several international film festivals, including the Ottawa Human Rights
Festival, before screening in Sri Lanka. It claims to be based on a
series of real incidents which had previously been reported extensively
in the popular ‘Ravaya’ newspaper.