Friday, 16th April 2021

New law approved on fake news following Easter terror attacks

Kandy, June 6 (BAN/ AD): A new law to curb fake news is proposed by Sri Lankan government after Easter Sunday attacks. As per new law government intends to introduce a five-year jail term for those caught spreading fake news and hate speech on social media. Further offenders can also be fined one million rupees ($5,715). It further added penal code will be amended to introduce new penalties.

The government accused that social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have been used to spread hate in a country where communal conflict emerges into violence.

The Sri Lankan government had shut down Internet access in March last year to prevent violence when anti-Muslim mobs killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes, shops, vehicles and mosques.

The Sri Lankan government had imposed an nine day ban on social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp following the Easter Sunday attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels by the ISIS killing 258 people and injuring over 500 others. The attack was carried on by 9 suicide bombers, including a woman. Initially ban was imposed on April 23 to crack down on the nine suicide bombers. So far 13 arrests have been made.

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