In an interesting turn of the tables, Derana CEO and Gota loyalist Dilith Jayaweera has been charged with violating the ICCPR Act. It appears the ‘radical’ speech he made during the launch of Dilshan Pathirathna’s book Dadabbaraya has incurred the wrath of some Buddhist monks.
Pathirathne was summoned before the Organized Crime unit yesterday to provide a statement in relation to a court case filed before the Colombo Magistrate Court and was caught by surprise when he was informed that he was summoned to provide a statement on the speech made by Jayaweera at the launch event of his book.
In a Facebook post, Pathirathne says he was informed that the complaint was lodged by Buddhist Information Center Executive Director Athulugalle Sri Jinananda.
Pathirathna goes on to say in his post that while he is glad the charges have been brought against a figure with enough resources and influence to fight the case, the tendency to view dissenting viewpoints as organized crime is a dangerous trend.
In Jayaweera’s speech that irked the wrath of a bhikku, he addresses the quest of humans to seek happiness and says the true answer lies in Buddhism that embodies ‘Aathal’ concepts.
Jayaweera goes on to say in this regard, it is important to understand what type of a person Siddhartha was.
“What type of a ‘pora’ (Sinhala slang for dude) is Siddhartha? …Was he a servant?… Was he someone who couldn’t even be with his wife?” questions Jayaweera in his speech where he also admits his favourite relaxation method is smoking marijuana.
Meanwhile the Free Media Movement wrote to Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale questioning motive of bringing fresh revisions to the Penal Code to criminalize distribution of fake news and hate speech. They pointed out its puzzling given available legal frameworks are adequate to prosecute wrongdoers and criticized the arbitrary application of present laws to further personal agendas.