Sri Lanka makes first arrest under controversial Online Safety Act

Sri Lanka makes first arrest under controversial Online Safety Act

Sri Lanka has made the first arrest under the controversial Online Safety Act, that of a man accused of carrying out a smear campaign against the Government for money.

Public Security Minister Tiran Alles said the suspect was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) while he was changing Dollars.

According to the Minister, the suspect had is his possession approximately Rs. 400,000 at the time of his arrest.

The suspect had allegedly claimed he used social media to carry out the smear campaign on the instructions of a politician.

The controversial Online Safety Bill became law recently with Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana endorsing the certificate on the Online Safety Bill which was passed in Parliament with amendments following a two-day debate.

Local and international human rights groups, media groups and diplomats had raised concerns over the Online Safety Bill.

Justice Minister Wijeydasa Rajapaksha told Parliament last week that the Government is prepared to have talks with Parliament to consider amendments to the Act.

He said that the decision to consider amendments to the Act was taken as there are several concerns being raised. (Colombo Gazette)

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