Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Defamation cases filed targeting social media misinformation on Online Loans

09 Apr 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Defendants ordered to appear in court on May 21, 2024

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda  

Five defamation suits have been filed in the Attanagalla  District Court by several online lending companies against several  social media activists who have spread malicious, inaccurate and  unlawful misinformation about online lending using Facebook and WhatsApp.  

Agampodige Thivanka Chaturanga Lakshman alias Tutu of  Veyangoda, Tarinda Bandara Thiskumara of Gampola, and Vanni Athapattu  Mudianselage Nilantha Kumara of Mahawa, have been named as defendants in  these cases filed by companies belonging to the Digital Alternative  Lending Association (DALA). The members of DALA are AV Business  Solutions (CashX), Fintech Software Solutions (Loanme), Zephyr Solutions  (Pvt) Ltd.- Lotus Loan, Oncredit and S.F. Group (S F Group-Fino.lk).  

Attanagalla District Judge Keshara Samaradivakara has issued orders to the defendants to appear in court on May 21, 2024.   The plaintiffs are claiming Rupees 500 million for the  defamation and a further Rupees 350 million for the loss of business  amounting to a total compensation of Rupees 4,250 million jointly and  severally from the defendants, caused by the issuing false, malicious  and hateful statements on social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp,  whereas the companies provide loans through online methods in  accordance with existing laws. These cases are filed and represented by  Sudath Perera Associates claiming compensation for the prejudice caused  to the plaintiffs by the malicious propaganda run by the defendants on  social networks through Facebook and WhatsApp groups, under the name of  “Victims of Injustice Due to Online Mafia”.

The plaintiffs claimed that they conduct business in  accordance with the applicable laws of the country and are  self-regulated through the non-profit body DALA registered under the  Companies Act No. 07 of 2007. Pointing out that lending through online  platforms is popular across the world, especially in countries such as  Poland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Moldova,  Vietnam, Philippines, Kenya, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Colombia and South  Africa. The plaintiffs have requested a decree against the defendants  for the organized distribution of defamatory, malicious, inaccurate and  unlawful misinformation regarding popular and lawful businesses  worldwide, and have emphasized in the complaints that they will obtain  injunctions against the defendants in the event these illegal actions  are continued.   

  • The plaintiffs claim that they conduct business in  accordance with the applicable laws of the country