By Sajith Silva
During the time of president Premamadasa, there were many projects to boost the art circles of different levels in Sri Lanka, though in latter part of his rule he became not more than another beast in Sri Lanka. But during the time of Mahinda, everything seems up and down, even with regard to the so called Nelum Pokuna,still seems to lie in mud rather than spreading the pure scent for which it was built.
I myself being in the stage drama circle in Sri Lanka for some time know that dramatists here live a meagre life having a plain tea and vaday for meals and practising wherever they find. There is no any professional outlook and they seem to enjoy this poor state of economic fashion to portray themselves as true human beings. But the reality is that till they move into the tv drama or movie industry which sustains their status as rich and professional actors and actresses, these individuals find it hard to survive as artists in Sri Lanka. In short if said that stage drama artists are the poorest of all the artists in Sri Lanka, it is not a surprise.
But for Mahinda or any other politicians engage in political administration do not have a clue, of the stage drama industry, and the so called artists like Jackson Anthony, who has a long presence in Sri Lankan theatre does not communicate the true state of the art industry in Sri Lanka to the administration. Instead he seems to lick the dirt fallen from Mahinda's table. Personally I admired Jackson for his performance at ''Weda Hamine'' teledrama when I was a teenager but oh God, time has made them mere rascals who does not do any thing for our cuntry except trying to find the linkage between Mahinda and Dutugamunu.
What prompted me to write this article, is that the price given for the allocation of theatre Nelum Pokuna in Sri Lanka.It is thousand times expensive for an ordinary artists and even for a famous artist the price tag is not affordable at all.What a insensitive act.Still the web site carries the stage dramas shown in April. What a shame, it seems like bulls rule rather than humans in Sri Lanka. To whome can I compain dear president , this is your theatre with your name given.
It seems you were in a hurry to name it with your name rather than having a overview or knowlege about for what this building is built. Please at least, when you , politicians visit China, please visit some of the theatres to see and fee. Ask about the price, cos everything has a price. Otherwise I will make sure to bring this complain to the Chinese who are everywhere these days and easy for me to do so. ( Cos Nelum Polkuna is a gift from Chinese)
Look at this, do believe our dramatists could afford this amount.
Renting the venue will be Rs. 750,000.00 per show. This will cover a show lasting a maximum of 4 hours. Any additional hours will be charged at Rs. 150,000.00 per hour.
If the venue is reserved for a second showing on the same day, the cost will be Rs. 600,000.00 for the second show. Any additional hours as part of a second showing will also be charged at Rs. 150,000.00 per hour.
Rehearsals and setup
The venue can be reserved prior to the performance for rehearsals and setup. For the initial 04 hours Rs. 400,000.00(Rs. 100,000.00 per hour) will be charged. If the venue is required for more than 04 hours Rs. 75,000.00 will be charged for each additional hour of usage."