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Centre for Policy Alternatives Writes to Acting IGP, A-G, President and Prime Minister Urging Action Under 291 A of Penal Code and Sec 3 of ICCPR Against Asgiriya Prelate Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera for Statement Advocating National, Racial and Religious Hatred.

By

Aanya Wipulasena

The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has written to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chandana Depal Wickramaratne on Friday (21) calling for a probe into the recent statements made by the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera, and saying the remarks advocated national, racial and religious hatred.

The letter, also sent to the President, Prime Minister and the Attorney General is in reference to a sermon by Gnanarathana Thera in mid-June saying, people should abstain from consuming food and drink at restaurants owned by the Muslim community and said he agreed with devotees that a Muslim doctor accused of sterilising Sinhalese women – a charge yet to be proved – should be stoned to death

In its letter to the acting IGP, the CPA cites section 291A of the Penal Code and Section 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act (ICCPR) as applicable in Gnanarathana Thera’s case, as his statement is of a very serious nature.

The letter also cites Section 291A of the Penal Code states: “Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.”

Courtesy:Sunday Observer