1 March, 2024


Two Petitions Filed Against Bills Criminalizing Hate Speech

Two petitions were filed in the Supreme Courts yesterday challenging the constitutionality of Bill titled ‘Penal Code (Amendment) Bill’ placed on the Order Paper.



The Bill seeks to introduce a new provision (Section 291C) to the Penal Code, No. 11 of 1887. A further Bill seeking to amend the Criminal Procedure Code Act, No. 15 of 1979 was also placed on the Order Paper.

The petitioner Arun Arokianathan, the Editor-in-Chief of Sudar Oli, urged Supreme Courts to “Declare the Bill titled ‘Penal Code (Amendment) Bill’ and/or any one or more of its provisions as being inconsistent with Articles 10 and 14(1)(a) of the Constitution, and therefore may only be enacted by following the procedure laid down in Article 83 of the Constitution”

M. A. Sumanthiran is appearing for the petitioner.

We give below the text of two Petitions filed in the Supreme Court.

Click here and here to read.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Is ”ethnic outbidding” of the 50s/60s still alive in various other forms, still harming the ethnic minorities?
    Is this an insurance our PM is taking for the next election not to lose nationalist Sinhala votes?

  • 2

    This is nothing but “appe aanduwa” pure and simple: This is our rule, we can do what we like because we have the power!

  • 4

    M. A. Sumanthiran

    RE: Two Petitions Filed Against Bills Criminalizing Hate Speech

    “The Bill seeks to introduce a new provision (Section 291C) to the Penal Code, No. 11 of 1887. A further Bill seeking to amend the Criminal Procedure Code Act, No. 15 of 1979 was also placed on the Order Paper.”

    Make Sure, the bad provisions are taken out and Effective Provisions are put in, so that those who practice hate crimes, like those who carried out hate crimes in 1958, 1983 (Against Tamils) and 2014 against Muslims can be effectively prosecuted, and leave very little leverage for the Judges to reduced the sentences.

    There shoulkd be enough teeth to bite off a limb of the haters. Despite all the crimes Committed by BBS and the Sinhala “Buddhist” Monks, they are still Free. Why? They are bot even presecuted for breaking the current lawa? Why? Because they are Siunha;la “Buddhist” Monks.

    Can some body hire some ISIS “Terrorists” or Black tigers to punish them, because the Sri Lanka Justice system will not handle them?

    See below the Hate Crime Laws in the United States.


    Hate crime laws in the United States protect against hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class. Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s protected characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)/FBI, as well as campus security authorities, are required to collect and publish hate crime statistics.

    Civil Rights Act of 1968

    The Civil Rights Act of 1968 enacted 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), which permits federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin” [1] because of the victim’s attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting.

    Persons violating this law face a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both. If bodily injury results or if such acts of intimidation involve the use of firearms, explosives or fire, individuals can receive prison terms of up to 10 years, while crimes involving kidnapping, sexual assault, or murder can be punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.[1] U.S. District Courts provide for criminal sanctions only. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 contained a provision at 42 U.S.C. § 13981 which allowed victims of gender-motivated hate crimes to seek “compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, and such other relief as a court may deem appropriate”, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Morrison that the provision is unconstitutional.

    Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994)
    Main article: Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
    The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, enacted in 28 U.S.C. § 994 note Sec. 280003, requires the United States Sentencing Commission to increase the penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person. In 1995, the Sentencing Commission implemented these guidelines, which only apply to federal crimes.[2]

    Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009)

    On October 28, 2009 President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and dropped the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity.

    State laws

    45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are Arkansas, Georgia, whose hate crime statute was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2004,[3] Indiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming). Each of these statutes covers bias on the basis of race, religion, and ethnicity; 32 cover disability; 31 of them cover sexual orientation; 28 cover gender; 17 cover transgender/gender-identity; 13 cover age; 5 cover political affiliation.[4] and 3 along with Washington, D.C. cover homelessness.[5]

    31 states and the District of Columbia have statutes creating a civil cause of action, in addition to the criminal penalty, for similar acts.[4]

    27 states and the District of Columbia have statutes requiring the state to collect hate crime statistics; 16 of these cover sexual orientation.[4]

    3 states and the District of Columbia cover homelessness.[5]

  • 9

    Ha ha ha BBS and TNA are at the forefront to stop banning hate speech..i think this is a moment that showed what TNA really is

    • 3

      The extremists and racists from both sides want to continue the hate speech. One cannot survive without the other.

    • 1

      Sach – TNA is not against banning hate speech. Their fear is that demands concerning land rights, religious rights and language rights
      and finally the demand for federalism or merger of N/E as one province will be interpreted as hate speeches. What TNA wants through the courts is to get this piece of legislature do not affect legitimate minority demands, made in parliament and elsewhere in Sri Lanka. We are aware that many journalists and politicians were put behind bars by the last regime for speaking for the Tamil rights.

      • 2

        I think SL gover has ruled out any possibility for federalism. I too am against it. TNA is a party that has excelled in hate and racist speeches. That is their modus operandi especially during election time. More racism, more sinhala bashing a lot of votes. That is how TNA does politics in N and E.

        How is this hate speech legislation even affect religious rights and land rights? Is hate speech a part of tamil religion?

        This is a step that SL gover should have done a long time ago. SL north would not have been the hot bed of racists like its today if that was done

        • 2

          Keep creeping even the Syrians with their 150 ft deep tunnels stretching 100 of miles are going nowhere.
          The Gautama law of Action and reaction brings about violence rebounding to violence.
          But Gautama could not fly until the English Wright Bros used Isaac Newton’s theory.
          Syria today is the answer! Assad can’t win and neither can Russia win it for him.
          Trump would complete Iraq and Syria along with Putin his new found friend.

          Terror nation run by Warlords Lanka Sinhala Tamil Muslim should be bombed once we have our EU borders shut very soon.

    • 2


      “Ha ha ha BBS and TNA are at the forefront to stop banning hate speech..i think this is a moment that showed what TNA really is “

      Mara and Satan getting together, to protect their Devilish rights.

      Indeed strange bedfellows.

  • 1

    Yahapalanaya cannot handle criticism… this is the end of free speech…. Everything a Sinhalese says to protect his country is labeled ‘hate speech’… lol. Those who swallowed yahapalana election ‘promises’ are still hell bent to protect these stooges of the West…

    Not for long……

  • 0

    The Muslims have demanded new laws to curb hate speech by Gannasara and other racist Buddhist monks who could not be persecuted due to their saffron robe, I should say no judge would want to indict a rouge in saffron robe. So, there is a need for speacial law. Suminthiran has been probably bought over by Ranils government to stop this as they have been dragging their feet to introduce this. The bill was something which Mahinda Rajapaksa had committed to the organisation of Islamic countries and the Wickramasinge government had no choice but to present it. Ranil has got his stooges from CPA Saravanamutthu. Sumanthiran and others to protest it as a verbatim of the PTA – Nonsense. Why the F…k do they not spefify what exactly is wrong with the bill when people like Gannasara could be put away for good when they intimidate minorities, especially Muslims and non catholic christians

  • 0

    I think that Sri lankan legislatures should study the Australian constitution.

    And get an idea about the thin line between freedom and hate

    and how they handle it.

    We Sri Lankans know this ‘ our freedom ends just before the other man’s nose’ .

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