Minister Weerasekera attacks newspaper for fact checking him

Minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekera, attacked a leading newspaper today for fact checking him over claims he had made on laws against disrespecting the National flag.

Weerasekera had tweeted earlier saying that no one will be allowed to distort and disrespect the national flag of Sri Lanka.

“Anyone found so shall be thoroughly investigated and charged accordingly under the provisions of our Penal Code,” he had said.

ThDaily Mirror then published a FactCheck.lk report which found that his claims were false.

To evaluate this claim, FactCheck.lk examined the provisions of the Penal Code, and looked at related laws in other jurisdictions.

It was found that the Penal Code does not have a specific provision which punishes distorting or disrespecting the national flag.

“However, under section 120 of the Penal Code, a person who uses signs or visible representations to “promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes” of the People of Sri Lanka is liable to be punished with simple imprisonment for a maximum term of two years. Therefore, a particular distortion of the flag (which can be considered a “sign” or “visible representation”) committed with this intention may be liable to punishment under this section. Nevertheless, the mere fact of distorting the flag would not automatically fall within section 120, and the act of ‘disrespecting’ the flag remains outside the scope of this provision. Therefore, we classify this statement as FALSE,” FactCheck.lk had said.

“As per @Dailymirror_SL there’s no provision in t #SriLanka penal code to punish those insulting t National flag. They seems to hv gone through t entire Penal Code to ensure same. You are supposed to love & protect the country known as your ‘Motherland’ as one’s own mother,” Weerasekera tweeted today.

“Nation’s flag is t identity of ur Motherland. Insulting our flag is equivalent to insulting ur own mother. In India insulting Nat. flag is a punishable offence. If provisions dont exist in our penal code shall we introduce one? Will http://FactCheck.lk support the effort?” Weerasekera added in his tweet. (Colombo Gazette)https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0Zndfc2tlbGV0b25fbG9hZGluZ18xMzM5OCI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjdGEiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd19ob3Jpem9uX3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkXzk1NTUiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoiaHRlIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd19zZW5zaXRpdmVfbWVkaWFfaW50ZXJzdGl0aWFsXzEzOTYzIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6ImludGVyc3RpdGlhbCIsInZlcnNpb24iOjR9LCJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1508728084865814530&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fcolombogazette.com%2F2022%2F03%2F29%2Fweerasekera-attacks-newspaper-for-fact-checking-him%2F&sessionId=0c4d0ee1dff36c8d746fa404e0fe4763a6d0f584&theme=light&widgetsVersion=2582c61%3A1645036219416&width=550px

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