For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Saturday, 03 July 2010
Sarah Melanie Pereras case was taken up for hearing for the second time at the magistrate courts 2 in Hultsdorf on Wednesday (30th). The magistrate had postponed the case for November as the Mirihana Police inquiring into this case informed the magistrate that the case has been handed over to the Attorney General for his instructions.
She was charged for attempting to insult Lord Buddha and condemn Buddhism in her books thereby, trying to disturb peace in the country. At the last hearing of the case the attorney at law for Malanie Perera argued that there was no base to say Malanie Perera was attempting to insult Lord Buddha or condemn Buddhism in her books. Though her Attorney at law was given a chance to argue her case last time, he was not given any chance this time.
It is said according to the law of the nation, offending people by condemning their religion is a punishable offence and one if found guilty, could be sentenced to one year imprisonment under section one of this law and two years with fine under section two.
Meanwhile, it is learnt a very prominent minister in the government had written 9 books condemning Islam. The people here say what Melanie Perera has done is a trivial offence compared to the ministers and others in the government, citing the author (minister) of nine (9) books and another urging the public to surround the UN office in Colombo.