From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake

From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake
Breathrough Weekend coming June 12, 2017

Friday, February 28, 2014

Breakthrough Weekend will screen June 12-18 at Anthology Film Archives in NYC - early notice

By end of March we will have final posters, promo art, final trailers, final clips, and we will be launching an epic marketing campaign to spread the word about the June 12-18/one week long run of Breakthrough Weekend at Anthology Film Archives in NYC.  Also film festival news coming by the end of March.  In the meantime, enjoy the early notice promo image below :) -


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US Senators Introduce Resolution in Support of Sri Lanka's Domestic Reconciliation Process

sl_gov_logo
The Embassy of Sri Lanka
Press Release 


 
US SENATORS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF
SRI LANKA'S DOMESTIC RECONCILIATION PROCESS

Calls on President Obama to adopt balanced & comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka

Eleven senior Members of the United States Senate introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution (S. Res. 364) on Thursday, Feb 27 expressing support for Sri Lanka's internal reconciliation process and the significant overall progress the Country has made since the end of the civil war--some 5 years ago.

The Senators also called on the President of the United States to develop a "comprehensive and well balanced policy towards Sri Lanka", supportive of promoting U.S. interests including respect for human rights, democracy  the rule of law as well as taking onto account the United States economic and security interests.

Senate Resolution 364 recognizes the immense suffering of the Sri Lankan people caused by the 26-year conflict, and the genuine aspiration of the government  to prevent any outside force from triggering a reemergence  of similar situations that are now behind us;   but instead  look to the future through enhanced national unity and reconciliation . A special recognition has been given to the establishment of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the significance of implementing its recommendations.

Sri Lanka President H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the LLRC in May 2010, following the end of the three decade long terrorist conflict. The Commission Report was released in November 2011 and tabled in the Parliament in December 2011. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the LLRC in July 2012.

Senate Resolution 364 underscores that the Government of Sri Lanka has made significant progress in implementing the LLRC recommendations within a limited time.  With a special reference to the first ever elections held in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka in September 2013, the Resolution commends the reestablishment of representative democracy in the conflict-ridden areas through elections.

“ …the elections allowed the people of the North of Sri Lanka to exercise their political rights that had been withheld from them for more than 20 years by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and resulted in a clear victory for the provincial wing of the Tamil National Alliance”

The Resolution however remains concerned over possible restrictions to the media freedom and religious freedom of Sri Lanka. It highlights that a peaceful and just society reconciled through a political settlement addressing the needs of all ethnic group should be achieved by a process driven by the people of Sri Lanka themselves.

The Resolution calls on the United States Government and the International community to offer meaningful assistance to theGovernment of Sri Lanka to make its domestic endeavors toward reconciliation more effective, while respecting the country’s sovereignty, stability and security.

The Resolution encourages Sri Lanka to  consider a mechanism similar to the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission to heal the wounds of war. The Government of Sri Lanka is further urged to take necessary steps to improve religious and media freedom in the country.

The following U.S. Senators are original Co-Sponsors of Senate Resolution 364:

The Honorable James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma);
The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas);
The Honorable Orrin Hatch (R-Utah);
The Honorable John Barrasso (R-Wyoming);
The Honorable Roy Blunt (R-Missouri);
The Honorable Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia);
The Honorable Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama);
The Honorable John Boozman (R-Arkansas);
The Honorable Mike Crapo (R-Idaho);
The Honorable Susan Collins (R-Maine);
The Honorable Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming)

The Following is the Full Text of U.S. Senate Resolution 364:

113th CONGRESS
2d Session 
S. RES. 364
Expressing support for the internal rebuilding, resettlement, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka that are necessary to ensure a lasting peace.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 27, 2014


Mr. INHOFE submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the
Committee on Foreign Relations

RESOLUTION
Expressing support for the internal rebuilding, resettlement, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka that are necessary to ensure a lasting peace.

Whereas May 19, 2014, marks the five-year anniversary of the end of the 26 year civil war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government ofSri Lanka;

Whereas the people of Sri Lanka suffered greatly as a result of this conflict, the impact and aftermath of which has been felt by all, especially by women, children, and families;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka established a ‘‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’’ (LLRC) to report whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility for incidents that occurred between     February 2002 and May 2009 and to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and     promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities;

Whereas the LLRC report was presented to the Sri Lankan Parliament on December 16, 2011, and officially     translated into Sinhala and Tamil on August 16, 2012;

Whereas the LLRC report acknowledges important events and grievances that have contributed to decades     of political violence and war in Sri Lanka and makes constructive recommendations on a wide range of issues, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; intentional targeting of civilians and noncombatants; demilitarizing the north and the country as a whole; reaching a political settlement with minority communities on the meaningful decentralization of power; and promoting and protecting the right to freedom of expression for all through the enactment of a right to information law and additional rule of law reforms;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka developed the National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of     the LLRC and has made significant progress within limited time in the implementation of the National Plan of Action,     notably in the areas of demining, rehabilitation of ex-combatants, resettlement of displaced persons, improvements of     infrastructure and social services in the North and East, as well as investigations into complaints regarding persons who     have disappeared during the war;

Whereas there have been reports of attacks on places of worship and restrictions on the media in several places in Sri Lanka;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka expressed its commitment to address the needs of all ethnic     groups and has recognized the necessity of a political settlement and reconciliation for a peaceful and just society, which     is a long-term process that will need to be driven by the people of Sri Lanka themselves;

Whereas the September 21, 2013, elections in Sri Lanka for the Northern, Central, and North Western     Provincial Councils were an important step in fulfilling this commitment;

Whereas these elections were made possible through a sustained effort by the Government of Sri Lanka     to restore infrastructure in the North and put in place a system for the conduct of the elections;

Whereas the elections allowed the people of the North of Sri Lanka to exercise their political rights that    had been withheld from them for more than 20 years by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and resulted in a     clear victory for the provincial wing of the Tamil National Alliance;

Whereas Sri Lanka is enjoying rapid economic growth as an important hub for shipping transport,     technology, and tourism in the South Asia region;

Whereas Sri Lanka is of great strategic importance to the United States, due to its location,    deep- water ports, and proximity to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, an importance noticed and pursued by other    significant powers; and

Whereas Sri Lanka seeks to be a key United States partner in the fight against terrorism and Indian Ocean piracy:

  
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
    (1) calls upon the President to develop a comprehensive and well balanced policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects United States interests, including respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, as well as economic and security interests;
 
    (2) calls on the United States Government and the international community to assist the Government of Sri Lanka, with due regard to its sovereignty, stability, and security, in establishing domestic mechanisms to deal with any grievances arising from actions committed by both sides during and after the civil war in Sri Lanka;
 
    (3) encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to put in place a truth and reconciliation commission similar to the one adopted by South Africa to help heal the wounds of war, taking into account the unique characteristics of the conflict and its aftermath; and
 
    (4) urges the Government of Sri Lanka to improve religious and media freedoms and to bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists and newspaper offices as well as places of worship, regardless of religion.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A good letter about stopping the unjust US & UN threats against Sri Lanka :: Petition for the White House

2/27 Update:

Petition for the White House re: not bringing counter-productive war crimes charges at this point in time - https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/safeguard-sovereignty-sri-lanka-and-not-pass-resolution-against-sri-lanka-alleged-war-crimes/VvwB6LgR

Sri Lanka needs more time to recover from a brutal 29 year long civil war. While the Sri Lankan government has done a lot for peace & reconciliation since the war ended 5 years ago, and there is a lot more to do, calls for war crimes charges by the UN & US at this point will help no one. Check it out & sign the petition if you agree.

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From the letter:

"This is a witch hunt against my people who have suffered enough with terrorism for nearly 29 years that we who live in the US do not understand.  The threat of a third resolution against Sri Lanka due to impatience, with unreal expectations of what you believe should have been accomplished in a short period of 5 years, fails to credit the work completed and currently in progress.   Demanding more that is humanly impossible in 4 years following a 29 year war of destruction is counterproductive to moving forward with the momentum gained so far."

And:

"The threat of economic and political sanctions is viewed by individuals and other nations as a death sentence to deprive civilians as we have seen happen in other countries with US imposed sanctions.  This is no way to protect human rights by taking away rights of other nations and its people."

And:


"To add insult to injury at the upcoming UNHRC, human rights are being discussed with the harshest criticism against Sri Lanka and North Korea.  Do you really believe that Sri Lanka can be placed on level with North Korea?  Sri Lanka eliminated the terror group declared by the FBI as the most brutal among the top three in the world.  A study by Canada’s Mackenzie Institute on terrorism, speaks volumes about the LTTE brand of terrorism.
I wish to respectfully remind the Senators and everyone in the Obama administration that the suicide bombs that killed thousands of US and NATO security forces were the invention of the Sri Lanka LTTE.  They continue to be used against US Security forces.  The FBI has credited the LTTE with more than that if directly quoted from the FBI website. 
Sri Lanka rehabilitated over 12,000 combatants.  They did not face a firing squad on surrender.  Isn’t that humanitarian consideration shown by the Sri Lanka authorities?"

Read the full letter herehttp://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/02/25/memo-to-the-us-congress-and-senate-regarding-the-unhrc-resolution-re-the-geneva-unhrc-resolution-in-march-2014-against-sri-lanka/ 

- Sujewa

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Monday, February 24, 2014

some places i've screened my films

getting ready for the upcoming release of my new film breakthrough weekend.  making a list of previous screenings - for various purposes.  i've been showing/sharing my films with audiences at screening venues since 1992.  here is a quick, incomplete list of some places i've screened:

- the kennedy center, washington, dc

- cineplex odeon foundry, washington, dc

- cafe metro, washington, dc

- atlanta film festival 2009

- the pioneer theater, new york city

- anthology film archives, new york city

- northwest film forum, seattle

- visions cinema, washington, dc

i'll have a complete list available in march.

my films so far are: 1 - fresh coffee, 2 - wild diner, 3 - 17 dc poets, 4 - date number one, 5 - indie film blogger road trip, 6 - brooklyn fantastic (not yet complete), 7 - breakthrough weekend (mid-2014 release)

- sujewa

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On the set, love scenes, interviews, inspiration & a lot of other great links about new film Little Fishes



Little Fishes Crowdfunding campaign from Alexia Anastasio on Vimeo.












Join the project & support it at IndieGoGo:


Sunday, February 09, 2014

NYC Indie Film Group 1 had meeting #1 on Saturday 2/8/14 night in midtown


L-R - Eric (with daughter) from Vamp Bikers, Jane from Warhol's Cars video, Jeanine (seated) from Vamp Bikers, Sujewa from Breakthrough Weekend, Manuel from Vamp Bikers, Adrian from Sex, Love & Salsa, not pictured - James from Brooklyn Unemployed.

The filmmakers plan on working together on distributing & marketing their current projects and on making new films.

Links to the films:

Breakthrough Weekend - Facebook, website

Brooklyn Unemployed - Facebook

Sex, Love & Salsa - Facebook, website

Vamp Bikers - Facebook

More from this group soon…

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How True/False Film Festival Just Became The Coolest Indie Film Festival In America!


They are going to pay their filmmakers!  Something that many filmmakers requested from film festivals for a long time.  Way to lead on positive change there T/F.  Get all the info at this Filmmaker mag blog article.

- Sujewa

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A Brooklyn Fitness Blog

Check out Brooklyn Fitness blog by Sharissa Reichert - http://brooklynfitnesssharissa.blogspot.com

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

Good Reads