Govt. trying to sell John De Silva Theatre: Artistes

28 March 2017 06:18 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Society for Socialist Art said today the Government was planning to privatize John De Silva Memorial Theatre claiming that it did not have the Rs.1000 million needed for the renovation of the theatre.

Veteran actress Deepani Silva told a news conference that President Maithripala Sirisena promised them soon after he was elected President that he would take steps to expedite the renovations of the theatre but that now the government was planning to sell it to the private sector.

She said John De Silva Memorial Theatre was the only theatre which was available for the dramatists, who were not financially well off, to perform their arts at a reasonable price.

“This theatre should be taken over by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. We as artists urge the government to protect the John De Silva Memorial Theatre,” she said.

Dramatist Premaratne Tennakoon said John De Silva Memorial Theatre was demolished during the previous regime without consulting the artists and those who were in the field and when we protested, the first phase was completed at a cost of Rs.322 million.

“When we demanded that it should be re-built, the first stage was completed but the government is claiming it does not have required funds to carry out the second stage. When the cabinet paper was presented to the cabinet, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has recommended that the theatre be sold to the private sector to develop it saying that the Finance Ministry is unable to provide Rs.1000 million,” he said.

Mr. Tennakoon said the Nelum Pokuna Theatre was built without consulting those in the field and added that dramatists were unable to go there even to watch a drama today.

“The Elphinstone Theatre has been closed down for four years now. The Lumbini Theatre also does not have required facilities. We request the President, the Prime Minister and Cultural Affairs Minister to look into this matter,” he said.

Several artists including Wasantha Wittachchi, Chandrasoma Binduhewa, Lalith Rajapaksa, Upul Mayadunne and Kosala Silva addressed the news conference. (Ajith Siriwardana)

  Comments - 11

  • anil Wednesday, 29 March 2017 08:10 AM

    Obata sathutuida dan?

    kk Wednesday, 29 March 2017 08:28 AM

    You helped to form this government. why are you crying now

    Claude Peries Tuesday, 28 March 2017 08:09 PM

    Please talk to the European Union . They will be able to solve the issue .

    aravinda Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:29 PM

    But the government has enough money for luxury vehicles for MPs. I think the priorities of this government are all messed up.

    brainmaster Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:37 PM

    They need the money for buying all the new cars. And they think that the people dont need to go and watch dramas anymore because the politicians and GMOA are stageing them DAILY. via DM Android App

    Bawa Tuesday, 28 March 2017 10:41 PM

    If these dramatists produce good quality dramas, the public will come to watch. Unlike the two bit rubbish that they produce now and then ask the tax payer to subsidise.

    Shelly. Wednesday, 29 March 2017 01:40 PM

    This lady actress sits with JO and attack Prez and PM on one hand and on the other hand beg Prez to save JDeS. Acting ...Acting.....Acting. Nothing else. via DM Android App

    genuine lokka Wednesday, 29 March 2017 02:56 PM

    Well you helped for this gov why are you crying now And who in the right minds go to see dramas in theaters now via DM Android App

    Kadiya Wednesday, 29 March 2017 07:17 AM

    With movies floodingthe market from Hollywood, kollywood and bollywood and TV dominated by teledramas, people are better off at home than spending money and time they do not have to go watch a drama at a theatre!

    ceylon Wednesday, 29 March 2017 03:12 PM

    in lanka own by government means own by theives.good to privertise. via DM Android App

    Missaka Wednesday, 29 March 2017 07:51 AM

    This lady was one of the pioneers to topple the then government. So why don't talk to President or PM to solve this without making a shout. Disgrace isn't it?


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