20 July, 2024

Blog

A Call For Justice: Natasha Edirisooriya’s Duty To Pursue A Fundamental Rights Case

By Udara Soysa

Udara Soysa

Nathasha Edirisooriya, a stand-up comedian known for her sharp wit and incisive commentary, found herself at the center of a legal maelstrom when she was unjustly arrested and detained. The arrest, based on allegations of making comments detrimental to religious harmony, not only led to her imprisonment but also tarnished her reputation. However, recent judicial decisions especially of the high court have revealed the baselessness of these charges, raising significant questions about the infringement of her fundamental rights. One can strongly argue that Nathasha Edirisooriya has a duty to pursue a fundamental rights case to address the grave injustice she endured and to prevent similar miscarriages of justice in the future.

The Arrest and Allegations

Nathasha Edirisooriya was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for allegedly making comments on Buddhism that were deemed detrimental to the country’s religious harmony. The arrest was ostensibly based on Section 3(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act, which deals with advocating national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to hostility or violence. This charge is severe, as it implicates an individual in actions that could potentially disrupt the societal fabric.

Restricting someone’s personal liberty should not be taken lightly. The arrest under the provisions of the ICCPR was questionable and in view of the opinion of the AG, it is now confirmed that there was no evidence to frame charges under ICCPR. Natasha has a clear case to claim damages against the authorities who were responsible for her arrest, one of her attorneys, attorney at law, Kanil Maddumge told the writer.

Judicial Vindication

hThe turning point in Natasha’s case came on July 6, 2023, when the Colombo High Court, upon thorough examination, ruled that the alleged statements did not constitute a violation of Section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act. The court observed that Natasha’s comments, ex-facie, did not advocate national, racial, or religious hatred. Consequently, she was granted bail, and her release from the magisterial inquiry was ordered by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, following advice from the Attorney General.

The Injustice Faced

The period of Nathasha’s unjust incarceration and the defamation she suffered are not merely personal grievances but represent a breach of her fundamental rights. These include her right to freedom of expression, her right to personal liberty, and her right to protection from arbitrary detention. The ICCPR, to which Sri Lanka is a signatory, enshrines these rights, and their violation in Natasha’s case demands redress. It was ironic that a provision of international law was intentionally and grossly abused by Sri Lankan authorities to violate and breach the rights of an innocent young female artist going against the very core of the international human rights laws enriched by ICCPR 1966.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), designed to safeguard human rights and freedoms, has, paradoxically, been misused by the Sri Lankan police, leading to significant human rights violations. Despite its intentions to protect individuals from arbitrary detention and ensure fair trials, the ICCPR has been leveraged to justify excessive surveillance, arbitrary arrests, and prolonged detentions without trial. In particular, the misuse of ICCPR provisions under the guise of national security has led to the suppression of dissent, targeting journalists, activists, and minority groups. The lack of transparent oversight and accountability mechanisms within the Sri Lankan police force exacerbates this misuse, eroding public trust and undermining the rule of law. This manipulation of a human rights framework intended to protect individuals instead perpetuates a cycle of abuse, highlighting the critical need for systemic reforms and genuine adherence to the principles enshrined in the ICCPR.

The Duty to Pursue a Fundamental Rights Action

Given the circumstances, Natasha Edirisooriya has a duty to file a fundamental rights application for several compelling reasons:

The legal acknowledgment of the wrongful nature of her arrest is a vital first step. However, a fundamental rights case would provide an official declaration that her basic human rights were infringed, leading to appropriate reparations for the time she was unjustly jailed and defamed. It must be noted that by pursuing a fundamental rights case, Nathasha can set a legal precedent that deters authorities from misusing laws to curtail freedom of expression. This could serve as a protective measure for other individuals who might face similar unjust treatment. Sri Lankan police officers must be kept in check against unlawful arrests and detentions abusing the due process and rule of law.

A successful fundamental rights case would highlight the importance of protecting freedom of speech and the necessity of upholding legal standards that prevent arbitrary detentions. It would also hold accountable those responsible for her unjust arrest and defamation, promoting a culture of accountability within law enforcement and judicial processes. Also it can reinforce the notion that legal protections available to individuals under both domestic and international law, ensuring that the fundamental rights enshrined in the ICCPR are respected and upheld in Sri Lanka without perversion by the Sri Lankan police and others with vested political interests.

Conclusion

Nathasha Edirisooriya’s ordeal is a stark reminder of the fragile nature of fundamental rights in the face of misapplied legal provisions. Her duty to pursue a fundamental rights case is not only a personal quest for justice but also a critical step towards safeguarding the rights of all citizens. By holding the relevant authorities accountable and challenging the misuse of laws intended to protect public harmony, Nathasha can contribute to a more just and equitable legal system in Sri Lanka. This pursuit will ensure that her experience serves as a catalyst for positive change, reinforcing the principles of justice, freedom, and human dignity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 4
    17

    … International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act deals with national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to hostility or violence.
    If the act is followed to the letter our Prisons ought to be brimming with inciters. There would be no room even for Gnanasara thero.

    • 14
      16

      Her audience was not Tamils, but mostly Sinhalese. They did not raise any objections. Those who complained were a group of rabid attention-seekers claiming to act on behalf of the Sinhala Buddists. One of them was Balangoda Kassapa, who was recently arrested for protesting outside Parliament. It is a sa thing that such riff-raff in robes go scot-free after trying and failing to impose their Taliban-style morality.
      https://youtu.be/IZ_pt_PPSCM

  • 14
    0

    She was a stand-up comedian who ended up witnessing the comedy of errors in the legal system, which seemed to appease a particular group of people. Now, as suggested, she could potentially open up a fundamental human rights case, but various terrorism-related laws may prevent her from proving the infringement of her and her fellow citizens’ rights in practice. Therefore, her silence on the island or her role as a comedian on foreign soil might have been a better option.

  • 17
    19

    No doubt she had angered the Sinhalese by telling UNFUNNY and stupid joke, and should consider herself lucky to get away with it due to “insufficient evidence”. She was arrested and detained for her good.
    /
    Remember, there are other ways to charge her and HER HANDLERS with more evidence under different circumstances.
    /
    She’s an example that the rights are dangerous in the idiot’s hands.
    /
    Any artist’s golden rule is ” know your audience” and she did not know it.

    • 16
      21

      She was arrested and detained for her own good

      • 17
        18

        Islam is criticised for not allowing insults to its Prophet. If a Buddhist cannot criticize Buddhism, what’s the difference?

        • 7
          2

          Old Codger,

          In Islam if any question or criticize the Prophet, a Fatwa or Jihad will be issued by the Mullas for any Muslim to carry out the killing.

          • 12
            14

            Gamini,
            In Saudi Arabia, some foods and alcoholare prohibited for religious reasons.
            In Sri Lanka too, some foods and alcohol are prohibited on some days.
            In Saudi Arabia, one is punished for criticising Islam
            In Sri Lanka, one is punished for criticising Buddhism.
            In Saudi Arabia, women are punished for wearing short skirts.
            In Sri Lanka, women are punished for having a “Buddha Chakra ” on their dress.
            Do you see any difference?

            • 10
              12

              Not just the incident, but the views expressed, expose the bankrupt Lankan mentality So much so 1 ) one pervert thinks, ” she was arrested and detained for her good “, fortunately she was not killed, if so, what would have been his thought ?? 2) Why do Lankans rush to compare such incidents with some random country ?? When an individual’s rights are violently suppressed in a so called democrazy, do we need comparison at all, that too with Saudi.( is this an exercise or a measuring index, to know how F ….. we are ?? 3) why not compare this with Lasantha’s murder, both being violation of rights. Does it make people feel any better ??? 4) In that case, why not compare bankruptcy with another banana republic and feel okay about it ( I guess there are not many, to compare ) ??? 5) As long history is concerned, Buddhist clergy is involved in violent anti religious activities from the time of SWRD’s murder. 6) What system change are we expecting with such skewed, biased, immoral views ??

              • 10
                13

                Chiv,
                “In that case, why not compare bankruptcy with another banana republic and feel okay about it “
                There are jungle sociologists who compare Tamilnadu with Israel.

          • 4
            0

            gamini

            It is an indication how socially backwards these Islamic countries are. Religion is used to suppress brainwashed masses by the rulers. Iran is a good example how ordinary citizens are forced into suppression & those who unquestioningly commply end up as fanatics. The world would be a better & safer place if not for fanatics whatever the religion.

        • 12
          1

          Prince Siddhartha’s wife, Yaśodharā, was sorrowful but not resentful when he left without a word on the day their son was born. Buddha taught that true homage comes from practicing the Dhamma, not just offering flowers and incense. However, some members of the sangha in Sri Lanka have acted contrary to these teachings, engaging in violent and hateful behavior. I have seen true Buddhism practiced by laymen, not those seeking power and control.

          Buddha taught with compassion, helping individuals recognize their wrongdoing without punishment. However, some Sri Lankan monks have acted contrary to this, engaging in violent acts (e.g. torching constituions, assination of the PM SWRD, spreading religious harted and mob attack directed towards other faiths),hate speech, and sexual offenses that contradict the teachings of Dhamma but never be ashamed about themselves and law silence on these people.

          • 13
            12

            The Sangha is more than 2000 years old, so they must be doing something right. Nevertheless, if you (age range 15-25) consider yourself an expert on Buddhism, you can write a letter or talk to the head monk to voice your concerns.

            • 10
              11

              Lester:
              “The Sangha is more than 2000 years old, so they must be doing something right.”
              That is not a logical conclusion!
              The practice of FGM is also more than 2000 years old, but that does not mean it makes any sense.

              • 10
                13

                CM,
                Logic is not something to expect from Lester. If you tell him that children are raped by monks, he will say Catholic priests do it too.

                • 12
                  8

                  Old Codger,

                  “Logic is not something to expect from”

                  Well, you are the one who called Prabhakaran a genius and asked why people aren’t allowed to venerate him. Basically you are a proponent of suicide bombing and handing cyanide capsules to underage children. So either you have a low IQ, suffer from severe mental retardation, or both.

                  • 10
                    12

                    Those who venerate creatures like the Venereal Gandasara aren’t qualified to talk about IQ.

              • 2
                0

                “The Sangha is more than 2000 years old, so they must be doing something right. “
                Yes. But not a lot.

              • 13
                7

                Captain Morgan:

                “The practice of FGM is also more than 2000 years old, but that does not mean it makes any sense.”

                FGM is not an organization, it is a human ritual.

                For an organization to survive 2K+ years is rather remarkable.

            • 7
              12

              Lester,
              “The Sangha is more than 2000 years old, so they must be doing something right”
              If that is the DIKTAT, for doing something right, THEN, why on earth 2600+ years of civilisation and culture, wasn’t enlightened until one ‘BELESSED MORNING’, that they -Sri Lankans – have gone STONE BROKE AND BANKRUPT, unable to pay anything, even Breakfast Cereals around 03/2022!!??
              If that’s a measure, of Intellect, Knowledge and Erudition, it’s hard to assess, the calamity, when such qualities are totally absent, in all it’s Form!!!???
              You should be feeling elated that they successfully STAR-GAZED for 2600+ years without any accruals of tangible benefits!!??
              Tom B________y at it’s best!!!???
              Buddham Saranang Gachchami!!!??? GOD BLESS!!

              • 7
                12

                “What you are referring to is not unique to the Sangha, but common in any institution or situation that is gender segregated. The incidence of homosexuality tends to rise in prison, Catholic Church (priesthood), “
                In other words, if others do it, why not us?
                The Catholic Church admits that it happens. The Mahanayakas and Lester don’t. The Catholics don’t jail people for writing about it. Sri Lanka does.
                Soo predictable. Captain Morgan please take note.
                “requested the moderators to add a spam filter”
                Look who’s talking.🤣🤣

            • 4
              0

              I have never disputed the sanctity of the Sangha. My previous statements referred to specific individuals within the Sangha, not the entirety of its members. I believe it’s essential to address facts with counter facts, rather than resorting to personal attacks and speculation. Your judgments about my age and knowledge of Buddhism are inaccurate.

              It’s ironic that you ask me to write to the same individuals I am allegedly criticized which is anyway not true. If someone were to rob my house, it would be illogical to write to the leader of the robber’s gang for recourse. Please spend more time thinking before start writing as your brain trying to catchup with the sheer speed of your typing skills I guess.

              • 12
                3

                Hello Dayan,

                What you are referring to is not unique to the Sangha, but common in any institution or situation that is gender segregated. The incidence of homosexuality tends to rise in prison, Catholic Church (priesthood), the military, all-boys school, all-girls school, etc. Do you know that nuns hitting girls in a certain area with a paddle is a clear display of homosexuality? The Sangha obviously does not condone such behavior.

                “Please spend more time thinking before start writing as your brain trying to catchup with the sheer speed of your typing skills I guess.”

                There is a lot of spam on CT. I requested the moderators to add a spam filter or ignore feature, but that is their choice.

                • 7
                  12

                  “What you are referring to is not unique to the Sangha, but common in any institution or situation that is gender segregated. The incidence of homosexuality tends to rise in prison, Catholic Church (priesthood), “
                  In other words, if others do it, why not us?
                  The Catholic Church admits that it happens. The Mahanayakas and Lester don’t. The Catholics don’t jail people for writing about it. Sri Lanka does.
                  Soo predictable. Captain Morgan please take note.
                  “requested the moderators to add a spam filter”
                  Look who’s talking.🤣🤣

            • 6
              0

              Hello Lester,
              Banging your head against a brick wall is even older, still doesn’t help.
              Best regards

              • 11
                5

                Hello LankaScot,

                The Sangha has more credibility than 99% of the posters here. When they are dead (the sooner the better), the Sangha will still be around.

          • 1
            0

            D
            “…was sorrowful but not resentful when he left without a word”
            How is one sure of that?
            She, I presume, was a normal human being who deserved to be told.
            Or is it possible that she knew that he would leave some day?

        • 12
          10

          OC, You dont see a difference between the frenzied mass Islamic responses and the blundering stupidity of a few Buddhists persecuting an artist? Many , perhaps a majority of Buddhists were on her side

          In these things there are degrees and various shades.

          Your comment shows a deep rooted bias because we all know you don’t like the Muslims, but now trying to poke the Buddhists !

          • 13
            15

            DS,
            You forget that Sri Lanka is supposed to be ademocracy. Can a democracy persecute people for religious reasons, imitating a theocracy like Saudi Arabia?

          • 14
            13

            Deepthi Silva,

            Can we even call these people “artists?” Do they have any real talent?

            • 11
              13

              It would seem that some who claim to live in UK have never heard of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. How come they recommend Saudi standards for those who live in Sri Lanka?
              I am not talking about you, DS.

            • 7
              12

              Sure, you have ‘Real Talent’, INABILITY TO ENJOY exemplary SATIRE!!?? No better “Moronic Thought” explains, Lacuna best!!?? “SATIRE AVERSION”!!??

            • 6
              0

              Lester – In your own judgement what are the skill sets or parameter necessary to call a person artist. Then we can really give you some insights to open up your mind.

              • 12
                6

                Hello Dayan,

                The interesting issue for me is not whether people are daft when it comes to Buddhism. Rather, this kind of behavior highlights Dunning Krueger, reverse Flynn, and the issue with “free” resources (such as social media) in general. Much, if not most, of the information available on the Internet today is actually rubbish. But because of the “greater fool theory”, it can be monetized without any limits. Think about such factors as proliferation of content, algorithmic amplification (SEO for example), and echo chambers.
                This is the context in which we should think of today’s “art” and media in general. The goal is not to educate or create something with aesthetic value but to make a quick profit by shocking as many people as possible. There is a net detrimental effect to society.

            • 4
              0

              Hello Lester.
              One of the funniest comedians we watched as teenagers and adults was an Irish Atheist Dave Allen. He made fun of Catholicism as did Billy Connolly in Scotland. If anyone tried to arrest either of them there would have been another “Storming of the Bastille” or its equivalent. We do not tolerate Religious bigots that try to suppress or interfere with our freedom of speech. The British fought a Civil War against the Royalists to defend our Civil Rights (amongst other things) in the 1640s and 50s.
              At the end of the 1970s “Life of Brian” was released to much religious protest, by Jews and Christians. Individual Cities in the UK and States in the USA, had it banned or tried to. “By the 1980s, the film was syndicated on television and aired on weekend afternoons in several markets—and nobody seemed to care”. The bigots failed. https://lithub.com/when-the-culture-wars-came-for-monty-pythons-life-of-brian/
              Unfortunately the USA is run by right wing Christians and AIPAC
              Best regards

              • 12
                4

                “We do not tolerate Religious bigots that try to suppress or interfere with our freedom of speech.”

                Why not include context? Virtually every Asian country is conservative when it comes to religion. For example, in Singapore, the primary laws relevant to religious defamation include the Penal Code and the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act. Under Penal Code (Section 298 and 298A), the penalty for the uttering of words, making of sounds, gestures, or placing of objects with the deliberate intent to “wound” the religious feelings of any person includes imprisonment for up to three years, a fine, or both.
                Asian countries in general have a different view of “social harmony” than Western Europe. Sri Lanka is no exception.

          • 7
            5

            ds
            “(OC)…we all know you don’t like the Muslims”
            That is news to me!
            Are you sure that you got the right person?

            • 7
              12

              SJ,
              News to me too.😁

      • 3
        12

        Hopefully the same thing can happen to your bosses, when a proper government comes to power. Otherwise too many groups will go after them for too many reasons, and it is unlikely this time Singapore, Thailand, Seychelles, Uganda, Maldives or anybody else giving them refuge.

      • 9
        17

        … She was arrested and detained for her own good
        Tony,
        Should she continue making those stupid jokes to increase the chances of receiving that kind treatment again and again. Just asking.

      • 8
        12

        Tony,
        You’d be gratified to note, the close resemblance!!??
        “She was arrested and detained for her own good”!!
        Like the King of Portugal 15th Century, kept Donna Catherina Captive, educated, indoctrinated, or imparted Christianity, and Catholicism and sent her back as Queen of Portuguese territories of South Asian Island Sri Lanka!!!??
        Only significant difference was Natasha – a Buddhist herself from Childhood, and Indoctrination wasn’t Possible!!??? Couldn’t possibly achieve what they set out to!!??

  • 21
    18

    Natasha’s arrest was not based on any law but Bankrupt Lanka’s Low and Odor. The very same CID, who couldn’t prevent Easter attacks (now alleged to have played an active role) went after Natasha and Jerome to divert public from real issues like bankruptcy. Keeping in mind, if this political victim’s name happened to be Natasha Edirisooriyar or Ethirveerasingam, she still be in prison toiling for years before such vindication. We already know few Tamil prisoners, released after 10 to 15 years of unlawful confinement.

  • 17
    9

    The Criminal Investigation Department invoking cherry-picked provisions of the ICCPR to arrest authors, poets, comedians and such can be compared to the Devil quoting from the Scriptures.
    Any Religion that cannot tolerate criticism, whether justified or not, is a weak and useless religion.

    • 8
      10

      Very True indeed beyond all Doubt!!??

  • 0
    12

    Good write up, unlike Basil Fernando, Jehan PhD or even Tisaranee Gunasekara (They are a kind of misleading ICCPR within themselves, purposely bring the important issues and misdirect and betray innocent readers on the trifling matters or even against the main point.) Tisaranee Gunasekara has had a lot of success in proving that Leader Pirapaharan appointed Old Rowdy as the president, and thus seeking sympathy for Evil. Some readers, brainwashed by Tisaranee’s writing, end up asking, “didn’t he bring democracy to Sri Lanka, what else do you want? if he was not born, there wouldn’t be any democracy in Sri Lanka”. Is that the true nature of democracy, or is it only “one man worship” (if there is any honesty in those writings, no hidden ill intentions) whether he is a cook or criminal, because of his family’s royalty? Even after Evil borrowed an estimated loan of $17B within the last two years, but achieved nothing, and want the future leaders implement only the Article 9 of the constitution, Sinhala Buddhist are still reluctant to sue the UNP-SLFP Union for bankrupting the country by stealing a $30B. The Sri Lanka constitution is only for criminals by Criminals, nothing in that for citizens.

  • 2
    10

    The Natasha case reminds me about the Nirmala Rupan case, where a Tamil male handsome body builder- model was arrested in Jaffna not for any connected incidents, only some invalid, asthenic, spineless, ill will rapist army men had seen this handsome model on the public road. A simple jealousy in human minds created the rest of saga of world’s most-worst, human right violation case – keeping a torture victim tied to the hospital bed and further abusing until he succumbed to death. (Pretty similar to Manamperi’s case. – similarity in Premawathi Manamperi and Nirmala Rupan was in Rapist Security Forces’ jealous on their victims’ congenital majestic physical attributes, while Premawathi was a member of a team, yet Nirmala Rupan was not an activist; Premawathi Manamperi’s criminals were punished by Siri Ma O, but on Nirmala Rupan’s case, with leadership of Old Rowdy King and Evil Emperor, the that time Chief Joker Mohan Pieris declared that “Tamils cannot have any Fundamental rights” and thus he dismissed the case. ) The Mokan Modaya did not understand the “FUNDAMENTAL ” meant there – it pervades and enshrines all circumstances’ ‘ – it means fundamental rights apply even for enemy land warriors, fighting against the sovereignty of the local land. One the concerned one out of the hostility area, his rights are ensured by local law.

  • 2
    12

    Another case, one with equal dimensions was Isai Priya’s ordeals in the hand of rapist army with her ailing sick heart, until she was killed and buried (hopefully that is the one thing Tamils would wish for her under the situation she was put on her last days) with a massive bulldozer, somewhere in Mullaitivu in massive crater, created by war arsenals & bunker busting bombs.

    The shortfall on this essay, because it expects Natasha to take most of the responsibility of the redressing process, (until now, 6/20/2024 8:56 ET), have not provoked strategies from readers, (other than from Commentator Dyan) to deal the Langkang’s Sinhala Buddhists Tyranny’s art and science of silencing and right violation techniques on the possible activists and whilst blowers, to have them isolated and severely punished for their voicing against looting and stealing in billions, and murders and rapes in thousands, so perpetrators will not be questioned by the fear mongered citizens. The long ordeals of victims and soul trenching punishments they endure in 4th floor or in Trinco Navy Camp and elsewhere and the following advertisements – dramas are orchestrated in the name of “leaks” are not just to deal with the victims, but to establish them as the new law and order of the tyrants, which must be obeyed and the paths left clean for them to their tyrannical activities,

  • 0
    9

    Its extreme smartness is present in, on Evil’s leadership, tapping the UN & IC support on using ICCPR, or The International Democracy Union to have their massive rights violations on local citizens do not get the due or useful attention outside of the country. It was a world known secret that the UNSG delayed his visit to witness the Mullivaikkal (May 23, 2009), until the Rapist Army bulldozed the victims of War Without Witness (WWW).

    The UN was, from the start (1948), willing to accept the Aanduwa’s accusation that the Tamils are at fault for the 75 years of Tyranny of UNP-SLFP union for, “Indian Pakistani Citizenship Act, MMDA, Sinhala Only, Pogroms from 1958, Standardization…… even the 2022 July Bankruptcy and Protest 2022, but never was able to find a reason or opening to get involved to stop the Tyranny of Sinhala Buddhism or restore the fundamental right of the Ceylonese.

    “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alert That is the police system employed in America starting when a child named Amber was kidnapped and found dead while police were actively looking for the child. Because not knowing where the criminal had taken the car in which it was kidnapped, the child did not get the help needed to survive.

  • 2
    6

    “The Amber alert was created in reference to Amber Rene Hagerman, who was abducted and later found murdered in 1996.” During Amber alert time the police spread out Amber color messages on private and public channels for volunteering info,
    That is why I am saying, starting from the author’s initiation, form a group called “NATASHA” meaning “National Association for Tyranny Actions of State Hurt Artists”. I saw in today’s news, another Model- Actress, Pumi was being targeted by police. It looks like it’s almost for her money. Let this be a blessing of the auspicious time the NPP/JVP campaigning for systemic change, a solution for all illnesses of Langkang, under one umbrella. Called the Systemic Change can be brought in. The NATASHA

  • 8
    6

    I happened to see Natasha’s clip on social media & it was hilarious. I would rank her among the best comedians I have seen.

    SL was/is one step away from a Buddhist sharia law & an enforcing Buddhist police. A poor woman who wore a dress which had a nautical symbol was interpreted as a ‘dhamma Chakra’ & was harassed by the police, a foreigner who had Buddha’s face tattooed on her as an indication of her faith was jailed & deported but she was able to successfully sue for compensation. I have seen many tattoos with the face of christ, the virgin Mary & the cross which simply indicate the faith but no one to my knowledge has been prosecuted. There are jokes about the pope, the vatican, the church & clergymen, often the subject of comedians, yet, no one has been prosecuted Yet, we have thugs in robes threatening witnesses openly but pardoned by the highest office & illiterate yob monks preaching a totally different Buddhist philosophy but that is acceptable to our stupid ‘law enforcement’ officers.

    If there is a fund set up for Natasha to pursue her unjust treatment in violation of her rights, I will happily contribute.

    • 14
      16

      Raj,
      The really funny thing is that people who had never heard of Natasha were rushing to youtube and watching her allegedly un-funny performances, the day after she was arrested.
      A totally counter-productive fiasco, I think, by Balangoda Kassapa and his fake patriots.

    • 12
      11

      Raj-UK,

      “SL was/is one step away from a Buddhist sharia law & an enforcing Buddhist police.”

      Nope. Just don’t make dumb jokes about Buddhism, and nothing will happen to you. It’s that easy. Real religious fundamentalism is when you are not allowed to practice your religion for fear of being persecuted.

      • 10
        12

        Are Mahayana Buddhists allowed to practise their religion in Sri Lanka, jokes apart?

        • 7
          12

          OC,
          That will be the day of EMANCIPATION OF SL!!??? Welcome and look forward earnestly!!???

        • 10
          13

          old codger

          “Are Mahayana Buddhists allowed to practise their religion in Sri Lanka, jokes apart?”

          Perhaps the Sinhala/Buddhist Govi are worried as they would be exposed and ridiculed for being a cult that follows non Buddhist practices, conducts rituals that are alien to the Awakened one’s teaching. For example Sinhala/Buddhist Theravadhies believe in performing periodical rituals of human sacrifices, ….. shamelessly adverting for S/B Govi, stealing from people and state, …… yet they want the constitution to guarantee protection and preservation of Buddhism.

          Ranil too want to preserve Buddhism in the current form, which should remind us the elections are around the corner.

          • 12
            4

            “Sinhala/Buddhist Theravadhies believe in performing periodical rituals of human sacrifices”

            False. Maybe your own people did that to appease the “yakkas.”

        • 1
          5

          oc
          Strictly, yes I would say.
          I know a few Buddhists who are Mahayana followers.
          Then, there are followers of the Dalai Lama. There are leading members of the clergy who demand that Dalai should be allowed to visit the country.
          *
          The point is that Mahayana had ceased to be a mass faith long ago. Any rise in public practice could provoke adverse reaction.
          But the same goes for Buddhism in Nepal. Many nominal Hindus are Buddhists I was told by a Nepali Buddhist whom I met.

          • 11
            5

            SJ,

            There is a Mahayana Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka: https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=41942

            According to psychology, people with mental problems often suffer from a “persecution complex.” They imagine conflicts which don’t exist. People with a low IQ also engage in binary thinking.

      • 7
        12

        Lester,
        “JUST DON’T MAKE DUMB JOKES ABOUT BUDDHISM”
        How could one make Dumb Jokes of the worst dumb though process as ‘STAND-UP COMEDIAN’, Natasha Portrayed in her Satiric Best!!!??? That becomes a NON-JOKE, DUMB OR OTHERWISE!!??

        • 7
          12

          Mahila, Native,
          Have you ever tried explaining humour to a fish?

      • 4
        0

        Hello Lester,
        So you can make “clever” Jokes about Buddhism and nothing will happen to you? Do you remember when you questioned whether anyone was arrested for insulting Buddhism.
        Lester / February 17, 2024, you said
        LankaScot,
        “No but many have been arrested.”
        Can you tell us who they are?

        I gave you a list of cases and you replied –
        “The people you mention are not victims, since they are the instigators”
        Here’s the list
        1 Christian Prophet Jerome Fernando
        https://www.barrons.com/news/sri-lanka-detains-christian-prophet-for-buddhist-insults-3585cc55
        “Sri Lanka’s government has deported tourists for wearing clothes with symbols of Buddhism or tattoos of the Buddha.”

        2 Sri Lanka arrests stand-up comedian for insulting Buddhism
        https://www.ucanews.com/news/sri-lanka-arrests-stand-up-comedian-for-insulting-buddhism/101462
        Comedienne Jayani Natasha Edirisuriya has been accused of “disrespecting Buddhism and ridiculing Buddhist girls as ‘virgins’ ”

        3 Monk arrested for social media posts insulting Buddhism
        https://www.newswire.lk/2023/12/13/monk-arrested-for-social-media-posts-insulting-buddhism/
        A Sri Lankan monk identifying himself as ‘Sri Vishva Buddha’ has been apprehended for making various statements related to Buddhism on social media

        4 Sri Lanka novelist arrested for insulting Buddhism
        https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-novelist-arrested-insulting-buddhism
        Following pressure from an ultra-nationalist Buddhist group, police have arrested award-winning Sinhala novelist Shakthika Sathkumara under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) for insulting Buddhism.
        Best regards

        • 11
          6

          Hello LankaScot,

          Similar to what Deepthi Silva said before. An academic or researcher can write a paper questioning the birthplace of Buddha. They can add that paper to the public domain for the consumption of laymen. However, if an academic or researcher writes a paper questioning the birthplace of Prophet Muhammed, he/say may face the wrath of a fatwa, regardless of their background. My criticism of Natasha is that she lacks any formal training in Buddhist studies (similar to all of the people in your list). Instead of rectifying the imbalance, she attacks the parents of Buddha for monetary gain.

          • 11
            6

            There is obviously one exception in your list, a monk was arrested. So even monks are not above the law, which adds some support to the latter.

          • 7
            12

            The jungle savant has got his knickers in a twist today.
            “However, if an academic or researcher writes a paper questioning the birthplace of Prophet Muhammed, he/say may face the wrath of a fatwa, regardless of their background”
            So, what the esteemed jungle sociologist is saying, is that Buddhists must behave the same way as Muslim extremists. So, what is better about Buddhism?
            “she lacks any formal training in Buddhist studies “. Thats a new one . That must be why no Mahanayaka has ever condemned child abuse in temples. Because they are formally trained, of course. 🤣🤣

          • 3
            1

            Hello Lester,
            You are avoiding the issue, again. Nobody is talking about Islam. Buddhism began 1000 years before Islam. How many formally trained people have answered my questions/criticism of Buddhist philosophy/sophistry? None and that includes you. Being formally trained in Astrology, Homeopathy or Feng-shui does not make them Scientific or even plausible. You are on the road towards a modern day version of the Spanish Inquisition. You are using exactly the same answers that my Muslim colleagues gave in answer to my criticisms of Islam. Instead of answering my questions they would avoid them by asserting that I didn’t know enough about Islam and only the Mullahs were trained to debate with me.
            So welcome to the world of Lester the Islamic Apologist.
            Best reagrds

            • 11
              4

              Hello LankaScot,

              My reference is strictly to constructive criticism. There is no barrier to constructive criticism of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The law itself makes sense in light of the fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion on the island. If Natasha is allowed to get away with her satire (which is not constructive), then others can do so equally to Islam. This is called “precedent.” The result could be riots, similar to what Europe experienced after the cartoons of Muhammed were published. So the law is actually in favor of the minorities, not the majority. By the way, one cannot question the Holocaust in Germany or display a swastika, do you agree with these restrictions?

              • 2
                0

                Hello Lester,
                I disagree with the blind acceptance of Religious Doctrine whether it is Christian, Buddhist, Islam or any others. However they can believe whatever they want to. What I object to is the foisting of these religions on Children in the absence of any objective evidence to support their beliefs. 500 years or so ago (and even later) to question Christianity would have led to your death. 1000 years ago the Christians tried to wipe out the Muslims with the Crusades, they obviously failed. Islam means “submission”. To many in Western Europe this is anathema. Many Islamic countries have a more relaxed attitude than Saudi or Iran. Eventually like Christian Scholars, Islamic ones will become more critical and even tolerated. Remember there are still Christian Fundamentalists (e.g. the USA) that have a disproportionate influence on State Law. No-one gets arrested in the UK for criticising Christianity, does that lead to riots? In many countries the worship of “God” has gone the same way as the worship of “Zeus”
                Just as a point of Irony many of my Muslim friends liked John Lennon’s song “Imagine” without realising what he meant. I wonder if DTG likes it?
                Best regards

                • 11
                  2

                  Hello LankaScot,

                  It’s important to consider the historical context. Unlike European Christianity, Asian religions did not undergo any “Reformation” or “Enlightenment” stages. The political and economic structures changed, due largely to colonialism, but on the religious end, the hierarchy was largely conserved.
                  As I said before, the key metric for religious fundamentalism is proselytism. This is missing altogether from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In fact, the opposite is true. Europeans spent a great deal of time and resources in trying to convert the people in the “colonies.” There was a 400 year attempt to mass convert Buddhists and others on this island to Christianity. It did not make use of satire, but was based largely on bribery, which worked very well.
                  We cannot ignore the historical context because it’s directly connected to the economic side and people are still feeling the effects today.

              • 4
                12

                “If Natasha is allowed to get away with her satire (which is not constructive), then others can do so equally to Islam. The result could be riots,”
                Gandasara hamuduruwo referred to “Allah’s labba”
                https://youtu.be/hBe4gcD7wDU?si=js0F4A_3UoYNPUgG
                Maybe Gandasara should be sentenced to death for causing the Easter bombings.

            • 5
              12

              LS,
              Here is something from way back in 1979. Absolutely scurrilous by Lester’s standards, but freely available in Sri Lanka on YouTube. :
              https://youtu.be/dTZyA2bJe8g?si=ib2bt5I1YILVGoGM
              I am sure there are videos about Buddhism too. (I didn’t look).
              Is this “constructive”? Should the Cardinal be informed?
              Now, what should the government do? Ban YouTube?

      • 3
        0

        Lester

        A pattern on a cloth with a naval steering nor a tattoo depicting one’s devotion to religion are not jokes. The symbol on the cloth was a mistakenly identified by a bunch of illiterate, over zealous Buddhist fanatics. In fact, a symbol such as the ‘dhamma Chakra’ has nothing seriously religious about it to get offended, just as the symbol of the cross in Christianity. Vesak cards & other printed or painted Buddhist images are destroyed after vesak celebrations, would that be a crime too? With dumb SL Buddhist fanatics, anything is possible. Bring on a Buddhist version of Sharia law & have a Buddhist police to enforce the law with a thug like Gnanasara as chief.

        • 10
          2

          Raj,

          “Bring on a Buddhist version of Sharia law”

          Shariah is impossible in Buddhism. Shariah entails women covered in niqab, praying 5 times a day, halal, medieval punishments such as beheading and amputation, etc. The monk Gnanasara went to jail when he made fun of these things. I saw many videos of ISIS as they implemented “Shariah” in Syria. Even for moderate Muslims, Shariah exceeds their boundaries. It is the Wahhabis who want Shariah. They hate the Shiah more than the Jews. You ever wonder why ISIS never attacked Israel? They were too busy punishing the Yazidi “devils” and destroying the idols of the Shiah.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.