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Mon, 20 April 2015 02:34:37
Sri Lanka TV industry hit by penal tax
07 Jul, 2007 06:36:20
July 07, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's television industry aimed at English speakers have sought relief after a penal tax brought by Sinhala teledrama artistes threatened to put them out of business, officials said.
Media reports said last week that several television stations including the mass-market state-owned Rupavahini, ITN as well as privately owned Sirasa and Art TV had delayed the payment of the penalty after advertising revenues fell.

Media Minister Anura Yapa confirmed that a television station had asked to delay the levy due to financial difficulties.

"Recently a media firm requested us to give them some time to pay the taxes due to financial issues in their firm," Yapa told reporters.

"I then informed them to forward their request to the finance ministry."

Sri Lanka's television stations catering to the small English audiences say they are under threat due to the special levy. The industry says the jobs of about 1,250 people are now in jeopardy.

Sri Lanka brought in a controversial tax on imported television content last year in a bid to force television stations to air more than 400 locally made tele-dramas in the majority Sinhala language that were not accepted for broadcast.

It is not known whether they have now been aired, but privately-owned Sirasa TV, which makes its own dramas said at the time that most of the programs were of poor quality and they had to reject them.

There are now stiff penalties for popular Hindi programs that are dubbed in Sinhala broadcast by the Sirasa TV channel, though the penalty for English programs was reduced from the original level.

Due to opposition by Tamil parliamentarians, Tamil language programs were exempted and the tax on English programs was also reduced by President Mahinda Rajapakse following protests.

However, with a downturn in the advertising market, channels catering to the small English market, which is the first language of the country's burgher community and is also used by other ethnic groups, have run into financial difficulties.

Industry officials said a delegation met treasury officials last week, but the meeting had turned fiery with representatives of tele-drama artistes also being there.

The three English language broadcasters, MTV, ETV and Art TV have said that while mass-market channels like state-owned Rupavahini could charge 125,000 rupees for a 30 second spot advertisement, English channels could only charge about 5000 rupees.

The channels have to pay 10,000 rupees for every half hour of entertainment programs aired by them and pay a similar penalty for repeat telecasts.

An imported English film has been hit with a penalty of 25,000.

All other films especially popular Hindi films had been hit by a 200,000 penal levy.

English television stations have told the treasury the industry is now in crisis as the levies were too high compared with the market, and they have not been able to increase the rates to pass on the cost to advertisers.

The industry was also hit by a 500,000 rupee tax on imported television commercials with a large number of advertisers leaving the television industry altogether.

The current downturn in advertising spend had also generally hit television revenues.

Minister Anura Yapa says state-owned television stations have now made their dues up to date, and he has no power to give relief to stations who have requested relief.

"I have no such power to do so," he told reporters.

"Only the finance ministry can come to a final decision on this."

The government had collected 160 million rupees and the money has been put in treasury bills Yapa said while a decision is made on what to do with it.
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39. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 21
The position of what would have taken place if Sri Lanka "banned' the import of automobiles was addressed with reference to the founder and MD of the Micro Cars" company. A bit of conceptual thinking is needed in this context. However, an expert in the Sri Lankan automobile market has taken the reference out of context over looking an understanding of design of the future vs norms. Buddhi Keerthisena is a movie director who has not made a movie in the English language, and does not qualify merit within this discussion on the taxation of imported foreign content on local television stations.

To sum up, in reason with the request for good material.

Where are the Buddhi Keerthisenas of the English TV scene?

Tax foreign content, bring hidden talent in directors, producers, artists, and behind the scenes technologists, out if television stations really want be of service to their viewers, by providing “quality content”.

Now is the time to make the “micro cars of the English TV scene” not 30 years from now, after the talent has been honed out of Sri Lanka.

Lets keep this discussion within context.

Anything imported must be TAXED, and everything is. So is it a matter of the tax being too high or that it should be abolished?

I have also focused attention to parallel TAX exemptions for locally produced content, earlier on within this forum.

38. Nathan Jul 20
A Market Survey should be done to determine what the people wish to watch on TV.

If most want imported films, this must be allowed. People watch TV for entertainment, after a hard day's work or on holidays. They do NOT wish to learn religion,politics or philosophy.

37. teejay Jul 20
Rodni, it is indeed pathetic to see a defetist attitude which is a plague to this nation.. People try to push in something mediocre and try to forcefeed to the public without foreseeing the longterm ill effects it can cause.....

I accept your argument with reference to Micro cars but had they done the initial research and given the public a car which looks like a "car" . We would've bought it even with the most basic options ....

It is a design flaw which did not entice the srli lankan customer.... it has a good engine ,a gear box etc.. but the design???? that's where Micro lost... That's why they sold more vans than cars..

Do your home work Rodni my friend.... This is the same with the sri lanka film industry . You can't expect poeple to appreciate what you dole out .

Give quality content politically unbaised... Don't insult the moviegoers inteligence... Learn from the likes of buddhi keertisena, Be innovative... Budhi is extremely tallented and it shows.....Rodni this is the hard truth .

Good material draws good veiwership... what we should do is not to deprive the veiwer of good material by taxing them, BUt try to be more challenging in our own way.....

36. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 19
The reasons for this Tax will never be completely understaood by those on this forum if you only look at one side of the issue.

Take some time to think of the reasons why the Tax was applied. Do this without prejudice, or personal feeling and I am sure you will see different than what you do now.

Whats this "dreaded white van" all about?

It is interesting to see how easy it is to lobby private media organizations to do something for you, when they constantly have arms reaching out for mercy.

Then they talk about "trade and not aid". Now this is not cinfusing at all. Its the game we play called "capitalism" and guerilla marketing tactics - if there is no demand in the market, create one by what ever means you can, even by seeming pathetic.

Pathetic very pathetic, but it's not working, so keep trying.

35. Nicole Phillips Jul 19
:-D as much as i like the idea of conducting my own show on the lines of jay leno.. i fear the dreaded white van will be parked outside my home once we start... he he....

very true nalaka... very true... funny enough our cinema industry has been trying this lark since way back in the early nineties....

I remember they actually tried to ban the television channels at the time from airing english movies on friday and saturday nights as they feared that was the cause of the drop in viewers for the friday saturday evening shows of sinhala movies screening at the time...

my only reference point to that time was that it was just after the immensly succesful screening of Jurrasic park at the liberty cinema and a tamil movie by the name of Nagina at the new olympia.

In case you are wondering how i know this, its cause i remember a very nicely worded (read scathing) letter in one of the sunday papers protesting the move which made reference to it.

34. Nalaka Gunawardene Jul 19
The notorious tax was introduced at the instigation of a handful of politically connected cinema industry people.

There is a less known tax, which the National Film Corporation introduced a new tax effective May 2007 on film producers who obtain the services of foreign film stars and technicians — a tax of Rs. 250,000 when a foreign film star plays the lead role, and Rs. 100,000 in case of a supporting role. That applies to foreign technicians as well.

This is known as the 'Pooja tax' because the evident target was Pooja Umashanker who played the lead role in Channa Perera’s ‘Anjalika’, who is actually of mixed Indo-Lankan origin.

Protectionism can be a two-way street. How would the Sangitas and Ravindras and other champions of these protectionist measures feel if they are barred from joining any foreign film production, whether it takes place in Sri Lanka or elsewhere? The backlash for Sri Lanka can stifle future chances of budding actors like Sarala of fame.

Every rupee in that Rs. 160 million is ill-gotten, and every rupee represents a step backward for Sri Lanka.

33. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 18
Anybody up for the challenge yet?
"Producer" would be the ideal person to blaze this trail, so the other experts would follow.
32. bored Jul 17
Rodney, Rodney
The dynamics and feasibility of producing local content is quite well known. If you did a Jay Leno here Nicole would get the white van treatment.

Nicole I am going to miss you.

31. alien Jul 17
You are wrong. government is taking revenge from MTV. Are you trying to be PA politician in Sri Lanka? If we go like this all english channel will shut down.
30. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 17
Adding on to my last comment.......
I must applaud "bored" for the suggestion of a 'political satire' program with Nicole as a host.

I am sure we have a lot resources to draw from amidst Sri Lanka's colorful political arena.

We also have a model to work around, and thats the tonight show.

I encourage all the eager minds involved in this discussion to explain how this show couldn't be aired on a local TV station.

It will be very interesting to see the procedures that go into a production of this kind. This hypothetical scenario might help understand the dynamics and feasibility of producing local content.

I am sure at least one of the stations will let us use their studio in cyberspace, for a virtual production.

There are also those with marketing expertise who could add in their observations.

Can or can we not make this work?

29. bored Jul 17
....just because some yahoo got hold of a camera and a bevy of crybabies of varying ages....

Nicole you should really, really, try your hand at writing comedy scripts. Or better still start a political satire program like Jay Leno and call it Phillisnicki Live. I am sure you will get hordes of viewers.

I will definitely watch.

28. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 17
Dr. Lawrence Perera the Founder of Micro Cars Ltd, and Mr. Roy De Silva the organization's Managing Director might provide better insight on where Sri Lanka would have been if the import of automobiles was banned in Sri Lanka.

History of the Indian automobile industry would also provide further insight to this context.

There is a difference between Banning and Taxation.

There is also a clinical difference between Hollywood films and Bollywood films, apart from language.

Both are equally in demand in Sri Lanka.

Many Hollywood and Bollywood films have achieved international repute. Comparatively very few Sri Lankan films have done the same.

The Sri Lankan English television stations have a lot to improve in their productions, and the only way to better themselves is through a process of trial and error.

This Tax should be taken optimistically as an opportunity to develop home made English productions.

27. Nicole Phillips Jul 17
Bored / j well said... this discusion seems to have gone off on some wierd tangent..

taxing non-sinhalese content so that channels would be compelled to air 400 unfit for consumption teledramas is sheer lunacy... yapa's comments that they dont know what to do with the money underscores this.... all madness...

i'm sure they will now enforce a new laws to accelerate the airing of the 400 teledrama's to make room for the additional drivel that is still in production..

if the govt was sincere about this problem why dont they get the two state channels to air these 400 teledrama's? just because some yahoo got hold of camera and a bevy of crybabies of varying ages doesnt mean that he/she can produce a compelling drama that would interest others...

why does everyone else have to suffer?

26. teejay Jul 17
Jeshiro, Well said..
What if our ancestors thought that we should not import automobiles since in would jeopordise the bullock cart owners....... where would we be as a nation today?

moreover what if they banned the import of indian movies which were dubbed in sinhala before the 'kadawunu poronduwa' days....

Just like what they're trying to do to the television industry.....

RODNEY..... think about it.... Lets learn from the west and improve ourselves... Lets be competitive globally not locally......

25. Wasana Jul 17
Development of port cities in Sri Lanka..
24. j Jul 17
20 million Sri Lankans want the world to be Sri Lankan. Har Har Har He He He.

Here comes The Crusade of the Lion-bloods it will be interesting to have the whole world full of Lion-Bloods.

23. j Jul 17
All these arguments are so stupid it is unbelievable of the amount hype and extremely personal and emotional these statements are.

It very sad to see how blind, deaf, and dumb we Sri Lankans are, it is as if there is no other world around us, other than Sri Lanka.

I suppose the next stage is for the whole world to be ethnicaly converted to watching such fantastic brilliance in Lankan Teledrama.

Why not also byforce other nations to watch Sri Lankan teledrama.

Better still why not gather together Like Nazi's and invade the whole world and force everyone to savour such exquisite brilliance in Sri Lankan expertise which is far superior to others.

22. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 17
On the contrary to my last comment, there seems to be talent in SL but this talent is not affordable either.

What happens to this talent that is too expensive to be used productively and profitably the niche channels?

How do these niche channels define "growth"?

If Sinhala teledrama production cannot be corrected by English program producers who don't produce but play imported content who could?

Is the government not using the tax collection to create some form of an academy to train producers and directors, irrespective of languages?

Do the niche channels have any representation at the forum which decides the taxation policy?

What attempts at home made English content have failed and not been received by Sri Lankan audiences are there to speak of?

Are the English channels really walking the talk or just talking about walking in the context of being an TV station?

To whom is this Tax unfair, the industry which is made of professionals, merely the owners of the channels or both?

21. bored Jul 17
"So there are good journalists in Sri Lanka but not good producers of English TV programs. "

English producers never came into this equation at all. The tax was brought because there were 400 Sinhala teledramas that the no channel wanted to air. This had nothing to do with English drama.

The architects of the tax wanted to kill MTVs hindi dubbed programs. Because they did not want to only hit Indian imports they hit everybody.

But the rejected dramas are still rejected. MTV has not taken them because they are not good enough. Killing competition would never make the sinhala teledramas or any other product better.

Now the English tv stations are threatened. People would lose the choice they had. Also if stations went bust even the little English programming that is domestically produced now -MTV news, morning tv/talk shows discussion business news, sports, analysis, documentaries, cookery programs, talk shows etc that is there would go off.

English TV may not be doing drama, but it is doing what matters more.

TV is about variety not about formulaic teledramas for sinhala audiences, even if this is regarded as a 'sinhala' country.

20. Rodni Aluvihare Jul 16
I think most of us discussing this issue agree that locally produced English content will never match up to their foreign counterparts.

So, as we are then left with the choice of showcasing imported content, I see two options as the Niche TV channels can't afford the taxes.

1. Cut down on show times limiting it to the time required for imported content which is not taxed and the best home made programs available.

2. Lobby the government's policy makers for a TAX EXEMPTION on locally produced content at the same rate. This way even the English producers may benefit from the taxation similar to the "teledrama" community.

This argument should have happened at the policy making stage and not now. English channels should be represented within this forum. Even now is not too late.

We we all know that there is a third option and that is what we don't want.

Having said that it is also interesting to question the "need" for English only channels.

Maybe IPTV broad casted worldwide would be better, but I would appreciate some information on the regulations governing it in SL (if there are any at all) either on this forum or to my email.

So there are good journalists in Sri Lanka but not good producers of English TV programs. Then this Tax could help build the necessary skills, and harness desired creativity.

19. producer Jul 16
Mr Aluvihare
The cost of producing an English program would be slightly higher than that of a Sinhala program because the on-air talent or such a program is more expensive. This unfortunately is a fact of life in all media even print.

Rupavahini was given by Japanese government free and there is no capital expenditure no loans to service etc. As a result they have a larger audience courtesy of Japanese tax payers.

Every other private channel had to fight for every rating point they gained over the subsidized incumbent. This is tough. It is particularly tough for English or Tamil channels.

Because of language/culture issue there is a bigger market for Sinhala programs vs English.

Also with imported English content it is difficult for local stations to produce them in sufficient quantity or in the quality. You simply cannot beat Hollywood. Filling a 24h channel is out of the question. Even with a free infrastructure Rupavahini had only a few hours when they started in 1981. Even Britain finds it difficult. We can only complement to some degree like Australia does.

If you look at a sinhala teledrama it is usually shot with one camera, there is no b-roll, shots are held for long periods, script is not designed to take you through an emotional high (Hindi films can make you cry - though most actresses in local teledramas cry it does not make the audience cry). Until the Indian producers came here for the MTV serials we did not even use music in teledramas - which is very very powerful, there is no cliff hangar at the episode end (bad script). I could go on. But to correct all these cost pots of money. Without correcting these you cannot compete with imported content. We are talking of drama, sitcoms etc.

LBO is not an entertainment product, it is a specialist economic/business news site. Stations like ETV already produces such TV programs and are well received by audiences and sponsors alike. To some extent local programming is cross subsidized by profits from imported content. That is how the industry survives and that is how it will grow.

Taxing the stations out of existence is not to going to help anyone, not even Sinhala tele artists. Only people who are likely to benefit is maybe satellite channels, who have even less local content than broadcast tv channels.

18. Rohan Samarajiva Jul 16
LBO is a niche product. The Internet radically reduced the costs of producing and disseminating news. LBO has exploited that. Good.

Does this mean that English TV programs of adequate quality (quality standards are set by what people watch, which in TV means BBC, Star, etc.) can be made in places like Sri Lanka? No.

You can do it with apples, but not with oranges.

17. teejay Jul 16
Mr. Aluwihare's comments
English channels enjoy limited veiwership as yet that is the reason they charge less for ad spots. In europe or in USA even in india yhere are good english language programming but bollywood and koliwood thriwes. Hats off to MTV,ARtv and ETV for superb programming. If the government wants to tax people (Which they do without any benifit to the common folk) They should admit it without hiring cats paws like the names mentioned above.

As a country we lack the knowledge of English which has resulted in mass unemployment . Taxing english programming will only aggravate this situation.

16. Tiru Jul 16
The tax was imposed originally with the intention of using that money to help the struggling sinhala film industry. But that was just a to rosy the actualy story. if you lead the last line where yapa goes:

"the money has been put in T-bills until we decide what to do with it" means that its just another source of income to the government, ironed by T-bills to fund the war, range rovers and Porche's for certain people's offspring.

15. Rodni Aluvihare (accor) Jul 13
Following my last comments, I also like those who read these comments to consider Lanka Business Online as an example of excellent journalism that has readers like you and me coming back from time to time in search of equitable information.

If this organization can perfect, journalism to the level of international standards, by providing intellectually stimulating facts, so can "niche" TV channels.

It would be encouraging to learn the steps they have taken get where they are now.

I am sure the editor will be happy to enlighten the English TV channels, if they are interested in looking at a successful Sri Lankan business model.

It is arguable that the two may seem like apples and oranges, but that is merely a difference in context. If one where to take out the specializations of journalism and entertainment a common, line of thinking could be seen.

It is the sharing of information, but that which stimulates separate senses within the human mind.

14. Rodni Aluvihare (accor) Jul 13
If it is cost of producing English programs that seems to be the core argument. I'd urge a comparison between the costs of producing Sinhala programs, and English programs. How do you justify the variance between the two.

As Rohan samarajiva has mentioned "certain advertiers may pay more for an English or Tamil viewer (because they are thought to have higher purchasing power and are more attractive for certain products)".

The move to tax imported English content is then justified as a motivating factor to improve necessary skills locally.

As the standard of television entertainment provided in English far below International standards and this is why Sri Lankan audiences are not that interested in watching locally produced English programs.

We will never be able realize the "golden egg laying goose" if we don't try harder to satisfy audiences. Look at this scenario in the context of the growing subscribers of cable and satellite connections.

The world is moving towards online TV and even satellite and cable now has a limited shelf life.

Sales teams of these "niche" channels need to assert more value for their sponsors through justifying the products they sell.

This an open market like for any other imported product, so while choice is not limited alternatives with equal value for money must also be offered to customers. there is no such thing as a free lunch. Sri Lankan must understand this.

As an example what is the price of Heinz ketchup in comparison to Cargills Kist ketchup? Is the quality and taste comparable, for the Sri Lankan consumer to be equally satisfied with either brand.

Laziness and incompetence is not an excuse for the "niche" TV channel companies. we must challenge ourselves to be world class and maybe even export locally produced content. Thats the golden egg, and not hitchhiking.

Training skills is what is necessary. Consider the shift seen in the garment industry within the last few years. Sri Lanka is now world renowned for top quality and not cheap garments.

Sri Lanka also has the merit of having the largest number of qualified chartered marketers (CIM) but where is the marketing genius, the creativity, and innovation to recognize English entertainment demands on TV.

The mos important question here is why do we need "niche" channels at all, if there is nothing unique offered other than salvaged second grade foreign content?

Lets not compare Sri Lanka with India or Bangladesh, or any other country, while we don't try hard enough to make something good with what we have that we can be happy with. If we must, then lets take lessons from Singapore, what is it that they have that we don't?

This not an impeachment on the freedom of expression, or the freedom of choice, or simply freedom. It is rather a very timely wake up call for Sri Lankan television industry professionals.

So please stop the nagging and get on with doing a better job.

13. Rohan Samarajiva Jul 12
There can be no doubt that Sinhala TV programs draw a larger audience than programs in Tamil or English. Since the cost of producing a TV program does not change whether the audience is one or one million, the cost per audience member of a Sinhala program is much lower than the cost for a English or Tamil viewer.

Certain advertisers may pay more for an English or Tamil viewer (because they are thought to have higher purchasing power and are more attractive for certain products).

However, profit depends on the difference between what is paid for the audience and what it cost to assemble the audience (the program and transmission). The difference in cost of producing English or Tamil programs versus Sinhala (on a per-viewer basis) will be so much higher that profits will be hard to come by, even with marginally higher revenues.

If the suppliers of TV programs to niche or minority audiences can buy their programming from markets where English and Tamil are the main audiences (prices will be very low, because this is an incremental sale), their production costs go down dramatically. By imposing the tax, the government has radically worsened the economics of niche or minority programming.

Given that Tamil was exempted due to the presence of Tamil legislators, the problem is now limited to English programming. It is unlikely that anyone can produce English programs of adequate quality in a market as small as the English-language market in Sri Lanka (India, with multiple millions of English speakers is a completely different story).

The most likely outcome is the demise of English channels in Sri Lanka, with English programs being limited to a few hours on the main local language channels, as is the case now in Bangladesh. Those who wish to watch English and have the wherewithal will move to cable/satellite.

Ms Weeraratne, Mr Randeniya and other cultural policy makers should be aware of the end result of their actions. The goose that is supposed to lay the golden eggs may not be around for too long.

Whether this is good or bad depends on the values one holds. A person wanting greater exposure to English for the general public may find it bad. Another may find it good, because it may free up frequencies for other purposes.

12. accor Jul 11
Maybe the English TV stations should do their part and seriously consider making some proper English programs too, if they feel this is not fair.

There are plenty of foreign programs available on satellite without the interruptions of low quality annoying advertisements made by our "self righteous ad companies" who scam themselves at awards ceremonies.

People in this country are given a fair chance to watch what they want, even if they don't have satellite.

TV companies should also ask themselves the question - "why do state TV stations charge more for spot ads? could it be that more people watch those stations? If that is so, the programs on the "English" channels cant be that interesting or good.

11. j Jul 10
All otherr nations have advanced in leaps and bounds far beyond what can be explained whilst Sri Lanka seems to have not progressed at all.

Infact they seem to be dwelling so much in their so called "past Glory" thus creating fanatical chauvernism to the extent that majority Sri Lankans being totaly blind and ignorant to the development and advancement of the outside world have been exploited and manipulated to do wrong and unjust things.

The masses being gullible as they are, have and can fall deeper into trouble.

Sri Lankans, sadly, seem to feel that they, in their arrogance and ignorance are far superior than anyone else, they also expect the world to accept them come what may.

They are sadly mistaken, and very foolish if they expect this.

In my opinion doing such stupid and foolish things like this will only Isolate Sri Lanka further, and also make Sri Lankans more and more self- centered, arrogant and ignorant.

This I very strongly believe is a ploy to ensure that the masses have no connection to the outside world around us and the global village we all live in.

Only a few who have the privilege to view other foreign and educational programs on offer from the international Channels will benifit.

It also may be possible that this few want to ensure their status in Sri Lanka is secure, in Order to ensure and enforce their position of control over foolish masses.

The quality of Sri Lanka cinema is so pathetic as well as uneducational and does not serve the nation well.

However it is found to be a useful tool to propogate the wrong message in creating racial disharmony and chauvunism so leading to indoctrinating, the common man toward blood lust, ending up like what has happened in Zimbabwe.

10. P.Nathan Jul 09
People should see what they like to see on TV and cinema screen. Sinhala teledramas are slow moving stories of poor quality unlike indian programs and english films.

People should not suffer if sinhala directors and artistes are unable to produce quality films and dramas.

In other countries film & TV personalities are esteemed mambers of society.But in 1999 Anoja Weerasinghe's home was robbed and burnt along with priceless copies of her award winning films.

Rukantha Gunatillke and Chandrakantha Prera - popular singers were held at gun point, doused with petrol & their hair cut offDharmasiri Bandaranaike, Director, was threatened with death for critisising these incidents - all because they campaigned for the UNP.

9. Jack Point Jul 09
Heh heh
it seems people here have mistaken my remarks, made in jest, for serious commentary.

What I said is what many an extremists, both in and out of government have said.

They are now paying the price.

Lets hope they realise their follishness before the next election.

8. Jul 09
Jack point,
I wonder what you're wearing when you typed BLOG on The internet, in ENGLISH? How were you able to access the internet?

I sincerely wish you think deeply about the thing you talk about culture.

Many, maliciously or otherwise do not think about themselves when talking issues like culture.

Can you explain, what is "pure Sri Lankan" culture as defined by you.
As Owl says

7. x07 Jul 09
Hey LBO, can you screen comments from lunatics like Mr. Jack Pot here. (he may be doing pot actuallya as the name suggests).

We want read comments becasuse they add something valuable not for entertainment or to gaugue the sanity of people writing comments.

6. bystander Jul 09
Let us give all encouragement to make lower quality teledramas.

With this kind of 'government encouragement' the teledrama industry will share the same fate of the film industry.

5. j Jul 07
Hey Jack
Then it is a good idea for all agencies to withdraw all funds as well as demand a payback for everything borrowed since independence. The payback period will be well over a 1000 years.

Whilst doing this you can wear a loincloth and swing on trees for your travels. What you want is exactly what the chauvernists want, nothing but misery.

May be you can mate with a lioness and further endorse the curse of the consequences of bestiality, which we are facing in Sri Lanka Right now.

And it also seems that we human beings living in Sri Lanka behave worse than animals or even neanderthals.

4. Ranjan Jul 07
We have to watch what Sangeetha want because she supported MR government during election.
3. owl Jul 07
Jack point, thats just what you are going to get and faster than you think you will.

I will not be around to see you in an amude - the true national dress - living on a diet of what ever is left of the vegetation.

No computer, no internet, no electricity and no technology except in the foreign adminstered high security high tech enclaves in the port cities of Colombo which will be a fine offshore financial centre and Galle which will be the base port for oil extraction operations to the south of the island.

The north and east - now known as thamileelam - fully into high tech development on their own. I wish you and your chinthanit fellow travelers a very happy and blessed future.

2. Jack Point Jul 07
No no no
we don't want interference from the international community, leave us to our own devices we will be much happier.

no need of their rotton aid money, tourists or their insidious investments which will destroy our culture

1. j Jul 07
Sri Lanka!!!!!, Either you change or you will stand isolated in the global village.

Chauvunism in subtle forms will never help Sri Lanka infact it will make matters worse.