Monday, January 29, 2024

A new law is passed in Sri Lanka to control online material.

 COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's legislators on Wednesday passed a bill to control online substance, the speaker of the parliament declared, a regulation which resistance lawmakers and activists charge will gag free discourse.

The Internet based Security Bill proposes prison terms for content that a five-part commission considers unlawful and making virtual entertainment stages like Letter set's Google, Meta's Facebook and X, previously known as Twitter, at risk for such satisfied on their foundation.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe's administration says the bill is pointed toward doing combating digital wrongdoing including kid misuse, information robbery and online misrepresentation.

"Sri Lanka had 8,000 digital violations objections last year. To address these issues, we all agree that laws are required. "We are bringing this law because of this," said Public Security Minister Tiran Alles on Tuesday while introducing the bill in the house.

"It is not to suppress the media or the opposition... Any complaint will be taken up by the commission, who will be appointed by the president and will decide how to act," the statement reads.

The bill was passed with a larger part of 46 votes in the 225-part house, the speaker reported. There were 108 votes in favor and 62 votes against.

The Asian Web Alliance (AIC), which has Apple, Amazon, Google and Yippee as individuals, cautioned Sri Lanka that the bill could affect interest in the country's IT industry and called for broad corrections to it.

"We unequivocally stand by our place that the Web-based Security Bill, in its ongoing structure, is impossible and would sabotage likely development and unfamiliar direct interest into Sri Lanka's computerized economy," the AIC said in an explanation.

Last year, the Unified Countries common liberties office (OHCHR) said the law "might actually condemn virtually all types of real saying" while New York-based Common liberties Watch (HRW) said it would "truly compromise" the right to opportunity of articulation in the country.

"Since November, Sri Lanka has engaged with AIC and consulted with stakeholders. Before the bill was put to a vote on Wednesday, Alles stated, "We are open to considering fresh changes and bringing them as amendments to the legislation at a later date."

Outside of parliament, a small group of activists and opposition members staged a protest against the legislation.

Harsha de Silva, a legislator of Sri Lanka's principal resistance Samagi Jana Balawegaya, advised parliament that it was not right to consider virtual entertainment stages responsible.

"This regulation is a danger to our majority rules government," he said. " This will severely hinder Sri Lanka's expansion of e-commerce in order to help our economy, which is in desperate need of expansion, and provide jobs for our youth.

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