Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sri Lanka: Convert Sara released on bail

By T. Farook Thajudeen - The Buddhist convert to Islam, Sara, alias Malani Perera who had written two books about her conversion from Buddhism to Islam and was in detention on the orders of the Defence Secretary from March 19 was released today on bail of Rs 5000 cash with two sureties for Rs 50,000 each by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mrs. Praharsha S. Ranasinghe.

She was arrested allegedly for publishing a book deemed to defamatory and offensive to Buddhists. The Mirihana Special Investigation Unit submitting a report in court submitted that the suspect was arrested on a complaint made by a courier service and on checking the suspect the police found that her identity card contained her name as Malani Perera and she was dressed like a Muslim. Consequently they arrested her conducted investigation after detaining her till April 19 at Mirihana Police Station on the orders of Defense Secretary.

The Officer said their investigations had revealed that she had written two books on Islam and investigated to identify whether she had any involvements with any terrorist movements. The investigations conducted so far had not revealed any such involvements and would not object to granting bail to her.

Counsel hemantha Situge appearing on behalf on the suspect submitted that the since the Police investigation do not reveal any illegal or unlawful acts of the suspect to release her or to grant her bail.

Counsel Hussain Azhar appeared on behalf Dr.M. G. M.S. Zurfick , the spokesman for a Coordinating Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapakse on Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs and on behalf of Adambarage Suwanda De Silva the president of Muslim converts Organisation submitted that the alleged offence committed are falling under Section 219 of the Penal Code which are said to be deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any religious sect by insulting its religious belief is a bail able offence and to consider granting bail to the suspect.

The magistrate on considering the submissions granted bail to the suspect and ordered the sureties to produce the Grama Nilasdari certificate and the Police report in court. The suspects passport was retained in court. The case was postponed for May 19.

© Daily Mirror

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