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Nathasha Edirisooriya granted bail in a historic High Court ruling

By: Isuru Parakrama

Colombo (LNW): Stand up comedian Nathasha Edirisooriya who was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the charge of delivering controversial comments on Buddhism has been granted bail by the Colombo High Court today (05).

This was when Edirisooriya was produced before High Court Bench chaired by Judge Aditya Patambedi, who made a historic statement upon releasing her on bail today.

Earning the respect and assuring the public’s confidence in the Court of Law, Judge Patambedi told the Court that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was deemed the rationale for Edirisooriya’s arrest, is being used today beyond the purpose for which it was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Legislature in the first place, and thereby cited the speech conveyed by Rohitha Bogollagama, who served as a Minister then, in Parliament demonstrating the very objective of the introduction of such law.

It would be appropriate to adopt the ‘Rabat Plan of Action’ introduced by the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in constituting the establishment of an offence under ICCPR Act (3)1, and accordingly, Edirisooriya’s comments being presumed to be inciting national or religious hatred would be an invalid argument, he emphasised.

The High Court ruling on Edirisooriya’s case would be one of the most significant verdicts in the history of Sri Lankan judiciary barring the misuse of the ICCPR Act.

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