The Fundamental Rights petition filed by a group of religious leaders seeking an order directing the IGP to immediately arrest Pastor Jerome Fernando over his hate comments against religious harmony in the country is to be taken up for support today (24) before the Supreme Court.
The petitioners, Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, Ven. Angulugalle Sri Ginanada Thera, Rev. Father Nishan Cooray, Dr. Sivasui Ramachandra Kurukkal Babu Sharma, and Al-Haj-As-Seyed Hassan Moulana AlQuadri, filed this petition naming Pastor Jerome Fernando, IGP Chandana Wickramaratne, and several others as respondents.
The petitioners are further seeking an order directing the law enforcement authorities to cause a full investigation into the financial activities of Pastor Jerome Fernando and “The Glorious Church”, in order to ascertain if any laws of Sri Lanka have been violated.
This petition is to be supported by President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena.
The petitioners alleged that Prophet Jerome Fernando, during the course of a televised sermon at “The Glorious Church” before a large gathering of his spiritual followers, wantonly ridiculed, insulted, demeaned, undermined, and caricatured three out of the four major religions in Sri Lanka (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam).
The petitioners are of the view that there is a delay in taking meaningful and adequate action for the arrest of Prophet Jerome Fernando and bringing him before a court. The petitioners state that, on or about May 18, 2023, Jerome Fernando addressed a large gathering of people, purportedly a religious congregation, at which he made numerous statements that were derogatory of other religions, specifically Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
The Petitioners state that no meaningful action has yet been taken by the Respondents and that, without the intervention of the Supreme Court, this heinous act of Jerome Fernando is likely to be swept under the carpet without any redress being afforded to the citizens of this country.