B103, Media Coop Society, Plot 18/A, Sector 7, Dwarke, New Delhi 110075
Tel: (0) 9818001206, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Pahlaj Nihalani,
Central Board of Film Certification
91-E Walkeshwar Road
Mumbai 400 006
Email : email@example.com
Sub: Refusal of certificate to film, “Porkalathil Oru Poo”, by Chennai regional office
Dear Shri Nihalani,
We the signatories to this letter, comprising filmmakers, lawyers and social activists are distressed by the news that the film “Porkalathil Oru Poo” cannot be granted the necessary certificate for exhibition in the country, on the ground that it would strain friendly relations between India and Sri Lanka. (The Hindu May 26, 2015). The film made by Mr. K. Ganeshan is based on the on real life story of a Sri Lankan Tamil television journalist, Ms. Isaipriya. She was allegedly abducted and killed in captivity by members of Sri Lankan armed forces in the final stages of the civil war in 2009.
The news story quotes Mr. S. Ve. Shekar, a members of CBFC saying that, if allowed to be screened, the film would strain friendly relations between India and Sri Lanka. This is not a valid reason, as International Human Rights law and the laws of India demand that criminal actions must be exposed, investigated and criminals must be punished. Bringing to light, criminal actions of erring Sri Lankan soldiers, cannot be interpreted as an unfriendly action.
As you may recollect, this position was upheld by the Indian government in the past, when it called on the government of Sri Lanka for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lankan soldiers. In 2012, at the UN Human Rights Council, government of India also voted against the government of Sri Lanka for its inadequate progress in fulfilling the promises it had made to the UN Human Rights Council in 2009. India has demonstrated that its friendly relations do not include covering up crimes against humanity.
Ms. Isaipriya was a popular actor and a journalist. She was not engaged in any armed activity. As we know, the Rajapaksha government had claimed the Ms. Isaipriya was a terrorist and was killed during the war against LTTE.
Subsequent video footage unearthed by Channel 4 in 2013, from the mobile phones of Sri Lankan soldiers, show Isaipriya in a semiconscious state being dragged up from a ditch, half naked and being led away. Photos of her dead body taken later, bore visible marks of torture and sexual abuse. You may recall that the Channel 4 film, “No Fire Zone”, though banned by Sri Lankan Government, was broadcast by an Indian TV channel. Headlines Today. Other Indian TV channels have repeatedly broadcast similar pictures of crimes against humanity committed by sections of soldiers of Sri Lanka.
Torture and killing of an arrested person and custodial rape of a woman are highly condemnable crimes and are punishable under national and international laws. Those who perpetrate such crimes must be punished. Attempts to cover up such criminal activities is equally condemnable.
Mr. K. Ganeshan’s film, “Porkalathil Oru Poo”, is not a propaganda film. It is a tragic story of the life of a young TV actor and a journalist. Ms. Isaipriya. Her story deserve to be told. It is also important that those who tortured, raped and killed her should know that the world is aware of their heinous crimes.
We urge the CBFC to immediately issue the certificate to the film “Porkalathil Oru Poo” directed by Mr. K. Ganeshan.
Ajay Bhardwaj, <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
- K. Roy, <email@example.com>,
Amar Kanwar, <firstname.lastname@example.org> ,
Amudhan Ramalimgam Pushapam <email@example.com>,
Joshy Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
K.P. Jayasankar <email@example.com> ,
- P. Sasi <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Laxmi Murthy <email@example.com>
Leela Samson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Meera Chaudhary <email@example.com>,
Nitya Ramakrishnan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pankaj Butalia <email@example.com>,
Prasanna Ramaswamy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rakesh Sharma <email@example.com>,
Rita Manchanda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
R.R. Srinivasan <email@example.com>,
Saba Dewan <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Sadanand menon <email@example.com> ,
Simantini Dhuru <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Suhasini Mulay <email@example.com>
Tapan Kumar Bose <firstname.lastname@example.org> ,
Venkatesh Chakravarthy <email@example.com>,
Yousuf Saeed <firstname.lastname@example.org