Silenced Voices - Tales of Sri Lankan Journalists in Exile

Beate Arnestad

Norway 2012, 60 min.


Spoken language: English, Tamil , Sinhala

Subtitles: English

World premiere

Festival year: 2012

Journalists in Sri Lanka risk life and limb to practice their profession. Lasantha Wickrematunge was one of these champions. He was gunned down by eight men in broad daylight. Newly wed and freshly widowed, his wife Sonali Samarasinghe had to arrange her bridegroom’s funeral only a few days after the wedding.


Besides being editor-in-chief of the critical newspaper The Morning Leader, Wickrematunge was also a fierce opponent of the Sri Lankan government. As a lawyer and journalist, his wife worked closely with him; the government forced her to leave the country not long after his death. Since that time, Samarasinghe has been fighting for justice from her base in New York. Sri Lanka is one of the most perilous countries in the world for journalists. According to official sources, nearly 25 journalists have been killed there since 1992, at least ten of whom were definitely murdered. All these cases were hushed up. Director Beate Arnestad tells the story of the civil war in Sri Lanka based on the stories of journalists living in exile. She seeks out various reporters who risk their lives over and over to highlight the human rights violations taking place in their homeland.



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