Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lankan writer arrested for offending Buddhism

In a blatantly anti-democratic move, Sri Lanka police arrested writer Sarah Malini Perera, 38, on March 20 for allegedly offending Buddhism. Perera, who resides in Bahrain and was arrested while on holiday in Sri Lanka, has written two books in vernacular Sinhala detailing her conversion from Buddhism to Islam while working in the Middle East. Her lawyers filed a case on March 30 demanding her immediate release, but she remains in custody.

Lakshan Dias, Perera’s lawyer, told the World Socialist Web Site that the writer was taken into police custody by a special unit of Mirihana police station when she went to a cargo service to ask about shipping copies of her books—From Darkness to Light and Questions and Answers—overseas. “I have gone through those two books but there are no harmful things for Buddhism,” the lawyer said.

According to Dias, Perera is being held under Sri Lanka’s draconian emergency laws, with a detention order issued by the defence ministry. Police have not brought her before a court and no specific charges have been laid against her. The continuing state of emergency has been used to detain tens of thousands of young Tamils without trial since the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last May.

Full report here World Socialist Web Site

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