The Union, in a statement issued by Premaratne Tennakoon, accuses the government of interferences to block the right to expression.
It says the government has no ethical right to censor the artistic creations and the right to expression of the artistes, without building a policy and a programme to nurture arts and culture.
The union says it disapproves of the government’s interference to censor the radio drama series by Malaka Devapriya, ‘Budunge Rastiyaduwa’, a book by K.K. Srinath and Asanga Sayakkara’s stage play ‘Mama Kelin Minihek.’
The statement says even the Union has criticisms about some of their contents, but that it disapproves of the censoring of artistes’ right to expression.
It urges intellectuals, artistes and the viewers to rally for that right.
Cultural affairs minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe has written to IGP Pujith Jayasundara, asking him to take legal action against ‘Budunge Rastiyaduwa’.
The minister charges the book has been written in a manner that insulted Buddha and Buddhism, causing much pain and sorrow for Buddhists.
He says its writer, publisher, distributer and the sellers have committed a criminal offence under the penal code.
Meanwhile, the Buddhist Information Centre on August 20 complained to the police headquarters, accusing ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Office for National Unity and Reconciliation of preparing a series of radio dramas to insult Buddhism.
Meanwhile, ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is very unfortunate that programmes are being created now to insult Buddhism.
He told a function on August 19 that all have a responsibility and obligation to save Buddhism.
State-run ITN FM (93.5 fm/93.7 fm) broadcasts Malaka Devapriya’s ‘Radio Katha’ every Saturday from 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
Sponsored by ONUR, these drama series does not have one titled ‘Nirwastran Paraman Sukan’ as claimed.
Scheduled for broadcast are:
1. Nadan Patachara
2. Aluthma Article Eka
3. Indrajalika Magul Senakeli
4. Kindabesa Serisaranna
5. Manavida Mana
6. Tharuwan Saranai
7. Alawaka Damanaya
8. Rangadena Kapuvo
10. Niyon Sepa Lebewa
12. Roma Rupana
13. Suwadena Agni
14. Ekathena Kerakuma
15. Nawanalu Dahama
ONUR says in a statement that any similarities in the titles of these dramas to other references are regretted and that they will be changed.