The Fundamental Rights petition filed by award-winning writer Shakthika Sathkumara challenging his arrest and detention over an allegation that he propagated religious hatred through a short story titled “Ardha” (Half) has fixed for argument by the Supreme Court.

On April 1, 2019, Sathkumara was arrested by Polgahawela police for allegedly propagating religious hatred through his literary work over offences under Penal Code and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act.

A three-judge-bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Justice Arjuna Obeysekera on Tuesday (26) fixed the petition to be taken up for argument on March 22.

The Supreme Court had granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sathkumara challenging his arbitrary arrest and detention.

Sathkumara wrote a short story titled “Ardha” in a publicly available post on social media platform on the15th of February 2019. It is said to be about a young former monk who has lately left the monastic life and moved into a friend’s boarding house while pursuing a university degree.

On February 25, 2019, a Buddhist organization had lodged a complaint with the Inspector-General of Police regarding the short story. The organization demanded that the publication be withdrawn and Sathkumara be arrested. The organization further alleged that the work was defamatory to Buddhism.


Sathkumara was subsequently discharged from the case filed at the Polgahawela Magistrate’s Court following Attorney General’s recommendation.


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