The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

‘Swara’ begins with laudable note


Internationally acclaimed actress Nita Fernando in her latest film ‘Swara’ (Seven Notes) which is ready to be released, carried out a laudable act by supporting a marginalized social group that was highlighted in the movie, the HIV/AIDS infection in Sri Lanka.
Nita with her social service organisation ‘Living with Hope Foundation’ pays tribute to the courage of those living with the deadly disease and together with her co-producer Manohan Nanayakkara, chairman of Asia Digital Entertainment supported three organizations formed by HIV infected patients in the country. The Netherlands embassy in Colombo and several corporate partners joined Nita to provide a donation of Rs. 2.4 million including a car to Positive Women Network, Lanka Plus and Positive Hopes Alliance, organizations formed by HIV infected.

Nita Fernando

The film based on a story written by Yolanda Weerasinghe and directed by young Sanajaya Nirmal reveals the inspiration shown by the events in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. The event organized prior to the film being released was a praiseworthy act by Nita, Yolanda and Manohan who has come forward as a producer, making movies of a different genre in the recent past.
“Thank you Nita and Yolanda for working on this project and giving us such a wonderful movie.

I am very confident of the movie being a successful commercially with audience reacting to it,” said Manohan Nanayakkara who addressed the audience which included a number of religious prelates, First Lady, Shirnathi Rajapaksa, acting ambassador for the Netherlands, Bas-van Norrdenne, several ministers, cinema artistes and a group of HIV infected representing the three organizations.
“It is a serious film while also being entertaining. I reacted to the movie,” Nanayakkara said.

“The theme is one of oppression and how people respond to oppression. I love the climactic scene where AIDS patients stand to the oppressive landlords and you want to say go and get them girls,” he described.

Nita who produced and played the lead role in ‘Swara’ said that in making the movie over the last three years she had to undergo a number of odds which she overcame successfully.

“Today is a special day as we present the promises we made to those living with HIV,” veteran actress said.
“We are called to love and are called to be compassionate and caring. We should commit ourselves to speak in public and promote HIV prevention. We must provide and promote care for the infected and affected. We should fights the sin of discrimination and stigma,” she added.

The highlight of the day was the touching words made by Princey Mangalika, President of the Positive Women Network and who has been living with HIV for last 12 years.

“I feel the story of ‘Swara’ has got closer to our lives and given special value and hopes to us. I have been living with HIV for the last 12 years. At the beginning we felt how our relations, neighbours and in common the entire society reacted against us and how we were harassed and intimidated,” Mangalika said

But we have no single thought of hatred towards any of them. We believe  that they would understand the truth. At a time when there was no proper idea about HIV it is useless to blame those who harassed the HIV infected. That is why we have to educate the society on HIV, she described.

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