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Presidential Senior Adviser calls for proposals to advance SL Film Industry

April 07, Colombo (LNW): Dr. R. H. S. Mr. Samaratunga, the Presidential Senior Adviser on Economic Affairs, has underscored the importance of artists drafting proposals aimed at enhancing the progress of the film industry and supporting its members.

This directive came during a recent discussion at the Presidential Secretariat focused on modernising Sri Lankan cinema to meet contemporary standards and ensuring sustained professional growth for artists within the sector.

Led by Dr. Samaratunga and attended by Presidential Trade Union Director General Mr. Saman Ratnapriya and National Film Corporation Chairman Mr. Deepal Chandraratne, the discussion extensively addressed the challenges confronting the film industry.

Dr. Samaratunga highlighted the parallel between the film industry’s challenges and broader societal issues, emphasising the need to safeguard the sector and urging the submission of comprehensive proposals for inclusion in the general budget or policy framework.

Addressing the longstanding issue of insufficient artist pensions since 1993, Dr. Samaratunga stressed the importance of presenting factual data to prompt governmental action on this matter.

Additionally, recognising the significance of artist welfare in preserving the film industry, efforts are underway to establish a specialised loan scheme.

Dr. Samaratunga solicited relevant proposals to effectively communicate the industry’s needs to the government.

President’s Trade Union Director General, Saman Ratnapriya, assured the possibility of arranging a medical insurance scheme for artists through the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.

Recognising the challenges of aging in maintaining professional engagements, he emphasised the necessity of implementing a suitable programme to support artists.

He urged prompt submission of proposals for the betterment of the film industry and artist welfare.

Stressing the potential for swift action, Ratnapriya indicated that timely proposals could yield results following discussions with relevant institutions, including the Ministry of Finance.

Efforts are underway to inform President Ranil Wickremesinghe of these developments.

The event was attended by veteran film director Sugath Samarakoon, film producers Padmasiri Kodikara and Raj Ranasinghe, along with actors Arjun Kamalanath, Wasantha Kumaravila, Nadika Gunasekara, and numerous other industry artists.

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