16 October, 2019

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Using ICCPR Act: HRCSL Issues Guidelines To Police On Hate Speech Law

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued guidelines on application of Hate Speech Law to the Police for fair and effective enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act.

Dr. Deepika Udagama – Chairperson – HRCSL

Sending a letter to the acting IGP, Chandana D. Wickramaratne, the HRCSL Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama said “the Commission observes that the enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act has not been done in a consistent and an even-handed manner, and sees the need for greater clarity on the legal scope of the offence recognized by the said provision.”

We publish below the statement and the relevant documents in full:

The HRCSL is pleased to present herewith the Commission’s legal analysis of the scope of section 3 of the lCCPR Act, No.56 of 2OO7 (ICCPR Act) and its recommendations in regard to the provision’s application.

The Commission is of the view that section 3 of the ICCPR Act is an important legal tool in combating hate speech. As we are aware, hate speech has unfortunately become a common phenomenon in the country targeting various groups.

However, the Commission observes that the enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act has not been done in a consistent and an even-handed manner, and sees the need for greater clarity on the legal scope of the offence recognized by the said provision.

The enclosed document containing the legal anatysis and recommendations of the HRCSL is a result of the Commission’s research on the scope of section 3 in light of relevant international jurisprudence, as section 3 is an incorporation of Article 20 of the lntemational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The analysis and recommendations were finalized after consulting legal practitioners in the field of fundamentalrights.

The Commission recommends that these guidelines are taken into consideration by the Police Department for the fair and effective enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act. We would be pleased to provide clarifications, if necessary.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    All policemen from top downwards should sign the essentials in simple language, for implementation.
    Else, their behaviour will not change.

    • 9
      2

      We don’t need new laws against hate speech we need more speech! The problem is not hate speech the problem is the law is not being enforced against those who attack citizens and destroy their homes business and belongings.
      No legal action against monks and the mobs that get involved in violence.

      • 1
        11

        Anonymous
        Some citizens were attacked by mobs hired by their own politicians and the government. Eg: the strange attack on Muslims 3 weeks after Easter Sunday suicide attack by Muslims.
        The magnitude of the attack is proof that it was pre-planned for no ordinary citizen can cause such destruction within a few hours. The unholy speed of releasing funds for compensation by Asath Sally is proof that the damage was caused purely to get compensation.
        If you have proof that monks were involved in violence, please go to the nearest police station and lodge a complaint.

        • 3
          1

          why doesn’t DU conduct an investigation into the Avant Guard floating armoury case which is being buried under all the unsavory stories about the Solicitor General?
          The Avant Guard scam was as big a scam as the Bondscam, if not bigger because it also was about asset stripping the Sri Lanka Navy and compromising Lanka’s national security.
          Avant Guard is a US global Surveillance company and franchise, and was set up by US citizen Gota with help from Tilak Marapona and Wijedasa Rajapassa who went on a trip with Senadihipatti to LA.
          Avant Guard was a UNP-SLFP bi-partisan corruption racket brokered by US embassy and Robert Blake so US could controle Lanka’s maritime security through Avant Guard Franchise of US citizen Gota.

        • 3
          1

          Champa, everyone with an ounce of brains knows the mobs led by Monks were in the pocket of Rajapaksas who are known for protecting and backing racists. But yes this Government failed to take tough action on the mobs and the monks leading them too.

          Even the Thowheed Jamath and BBS were funded by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and some were even payed salaries by the Rajapaksas.

      • 6
        3

        Can HRCSL clarify whether the following qualify for advocacy of hatred:
        1. Mahavamsa – Kill all Tamils as they are animals. Even if they had been converted
        to Buddhism kill them, as they are half animals.
        2. Koran – a) Treat all non-believers as Infidels
        b) Kill all non-believers and destroy their places of worship.

        • 2
          3

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
          Your comment shows that you know nothing about Mahavamsa, Buddhism or Islam (Noble Quran).
          I pity you.

          • 2
            1

            Champa don’t try to cover up the truth. Mahavamsa says that killing of invaders is equated to killing of wild beasts. Any intelligent person can decipher it as giving licence to kill Tamils because they are animals. Sinhalese themselves are invaders and do you say by this logic there is justification to kill Sinhalese. Do not bring Buddhism into this for the crime of Mahawamsa of instigating violence, as there is nothing said in Buddhism to cause harm to anyone. Both Koran and Old Testament call for revenge (Eye for Eye and Tooth for Tooth), labeling non-believers infidels. Here are few examples in Kuran :
            2.191 – “Kill non believers wherever you find them”
            9:123 – “Murder them and treat them horribly”
            9:5 – “Fight and slay Pagans”
            2:143 – “Fight non-believers until no other religion except Islam is left”
            It is better to accept mistakes and correct it rather than denying.
            It is you who is ignorant due to bigoted mind, who has to be pitied.

            • 0
              0

              Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
              What did you expect from Native Sinhalayo when ‘Para’ Demalu invaded Sinhale and massacred tens and thousands of innocent people, burnt down their houses, burnt paddy fields, vandalized temples and burnt libraries, destroyed the irrigation systems, raped Sinhala women? Sit down and say ‘Panathipatha Weramani Sikkapadam Samadiyami’ or recite ‘Karaneeya Metta Sutta’.

              Sinhala Buddhists had to kill to protect the country and Sinhala race from barbaric invaders. They did not engage in mass killings as Christians, Muslims and Hindus in the name of religion.

        • 1
          0

          Where Did you get your Doctorate.
          From a Butchery in Killer land.
          Do not Show your idiotic, advocacy sense to others thinking that they are idiots like you are!.

      • 0
        0

        The so-called Anagarika Dharmapala would have been the first to be locked up if this ICCPR was in force back then. And then, we wouldn’t have had all this trouble now. A hundred years of peace lost!
        One can judge the quality of a nation by the quality of its national heroes.

    • 3
      6

      If hate speech law is implemented TNA and SLMC go out of business first. Quran sections have to be banned.

      • 1
        1

        Most of the so called national parties and other southern parties all promote hate against the Tamil speaking minorities ( Native Eelam Tamils, Indian origin Tamils and Muslims) and promote Sinhalese Buddhist fascism. From the time of independence they have been doing this. They should be banned first . The TNA and SLMC are by products of this Sinhalese Buddhist Fascist hate, promoted by all these so called southern National parties like UNP , SLFP , LSSP, SLPP , JVP and more. Ban them first and their hate speeches and acts

  • 12
    3

    Dear HRCSL and Dipika Udugama,
    the ROOT CAUSE of much of the hate speech and anti-Muslims violence today in Lanka and indeed the much of Asia is the IS which was set up by US-Saudi Wahabi-Salafi project which also masterminded the Easter Carnage, whereby local Muslims were used to wreak religious relations in Sri Lanka, so the US Superpower Rogue State could set up its military bases and servicing hubs in strategic Lanka to fight its wars with China and Iran.

    So, HRCSL should first write and protest to the US and Saudi Embassy to stop weaponizing Islam and Buddhism with their Wahabi Salafi project in Sri Lanka, and hold a protest outside the US embassy on October 21 – and Memorialize the Easter massacre.
    We remember how Alina Nitwiz went to visit Buddhist monks in Kandy to sell SOFA and the MCC land grab fake development project to set up US military bases after the Easter Carnage, while innocent Muslims were being attacked because of the greedy Muslim politicians who are funded by Saudi – Bahtudeen and Hizbulla who are used as the US cats paw to divide and rule Lanka with the puppet RW?

    • 3
      3

      Shamil here is taking the excuse of Lankan politicians “We are clean, blame lies with others” too far.
      The tragedy that was the Lankan 2019 Easter Saturday was by Lankan Muslims. The Muslim community, including Muslim MPs have accepted this. They have earned the respect of international community.
      There are reasons to believe that the actions of Gnanasara Thero and ilk exacerbated the tragedy.

    • 5
      4

      Shamil – Sick in mind

  • 2
    2

    Hate speech law & freedom of expression always clash.

    So an effective local definition to hate speech is the most appropriate way to put into practice in Sri Lanka where majority are inspired by Buddhist thought even though they may not be real Buddhists.

    HRCSL is losing its importance/recognition in its own society/ground.

  • 2
    2

    What about a new concept called hate/disliked actions?

    Disliked actions may incite violence more than hate speeches do.

  • 2
    6

    What? Are you kidding me right now?
    Who do you think you are to dictate terms to Sri Lanka Police?
    Sri Lanka has a well written Constitution which specifies the guidelines of governing the country with our own set of rules, regulations, concepts, principles and procedures.
    Then there is the Executive President and also Legislators elected by people along with an independent Judiciary to work according to the framework for government that is stipulated in the Constitution.
    Our Constitution is the supreme law of our country.
    A mere official like you who is paid by an external organization has no right or authority to issue guidelines to our Police.
    Don’t overstep your boundary.
    Even though international treaties are signed, there is no obligation for any country to implement all articles stipulated therein, which require invocation of their domestic laws and/or undergoing a financial burden. For an example; Bangladesh has reserved their right to not to implement Para 3 of Article 10 due to financial constraints and lack of logistical support.
    Many countries which are signatory to ICCPR Act have reserved their right to not to implement certain articles of the said Act. This can be seen under “Declarations and Reservations” of the United Nations Treaty Collection.

    • 2
      8

      Champi, the foul mouthed idiot.She holds a post created by the constitution Your arse hjole was not seasoned by the constitution.Please seek a good prick to lick

      • 2
        5

        Inguru da Silva
        She is not above Sri Lanka’s Constitution.
        She should learn to respect our Constitution first.
        Name one country which is dictated by HRC based in that particular country?

        • 1
          1

          Champass

          “Name one country which is dictated by HRC based in that particular country?”

          Why can’t this country be the first one to base it’s constitution on HRC?
          Soviet Union was the first country to send a man to the space. It did not wait until other countries to follow.

          Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt – Mark Twain

  • 2
    0

    HRCSL Issues Guidelines To Police On Hate Speech Law. A waste of time. In the first place the guidelines will never be followed. In the second place, even if they were followed, offenders will simply buy their way out.

    But Sri Lankan politicians love to propose grandiose schemes and plans don’t they? And we fall for them every time don’t we?

  • 0
    1

    Even social media platforms like youtube and fb are not doing the job properly when it comes to hate speech, gender based discrimination and violence. Specially sinhala language videos and photos.. One should file a case against these two institutions and make them filter sinhala content properly.

  • 3
    1

    How can you impliment the law when the President of this country himself having ”tea” soon after granting the ‘presidwntial pardon’ to the monk who is well known for his hate speeches and contempt of courts of law??

  • 3
    1

    Any normal human being should know that hate speech is wrong.
    If you were at the receiving end of hate speech or any such action, you would know first hand.
    Just because we are in majority does it give us the privilege of propagating hate speech against minorities?
    If that is the case we should accept police brutality, bullying, jungle justice and so on as norms, those are other analogues to hate hate speech.
    A person propagating hate speech will cry for human rights and justice if he is wronged by someone else.
    So let us be civilised for once, and call a spade a spade, and do away with hate speach. We should not have waited for UNHCR to tell us this, we should know this better, being predominantly Buddhist and all.
    Ironically, it is the Buddhist monks who are spearheading hate speech, how degenerative is that?
    Shame on us for towing the line with hate speech mongers, I guess we do it to bury our personal frustrations and rub it off on others whom we think are better than us.
    Let us face our demons head on and leave the minorities alone. It is our own leaders and ourselves who are to be blamed for our problems, not the minorities.
    Sinhalese Buddhist should from now on be intelligent enough to look at things from a broad perspective. We need to be progressive as a people.

    • 2
      0

      Everyone is against hate speech Good.
      Can someone please give a few concrete examples of hate speech. A set of templates would take the ambiguity away and will make the task of the cop on the street so much easier.

      Soma

      • 1
        1

        soman

        “A set of templates would take the ambiguity away and will make the task of the cop on the street so much easier.”

        Before we go into such stupid exercise, let’s work out a list of things/pictures/tatoo/clothing/design/ …..etc that the Sinhala/Buddhist fascists consider being insult to Sinhala/Buddha, Sinhala/Buddhists and the sex starved saffron clad thugs given that tourism industry is one of the major source of income/foreign exchange/employment/ ……………..

        • 0
          0

          You could be arrested.

          Soma

  • 0
    0

    The stupid police cannot read english to understand guidelines.

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