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Sri Lanka reports first arrest under Online Safety Act

12 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • The suspect had maliciously carried out smear campaigns with the support of a politician  
  • The individual had about Rs. 400,000 in his possession at the time of arrest

By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya   

Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had arrested an individual who had slandered the Government on social media.    

Addressing a programme to educate the community police committee members of the Panadura Division, the Minister said the particular individual had about Rs. 400,000 in his possession at the time of his arrest.   

He added that the suspect had maliciously carried out smear campaigns with the support of a politician.   
“A person was arrested by the CID. He is someone who slanders us online using social media. The suspect claimed that a politician gave money to him. He was arrested right after he went to Fort to exchange dollars to Sri Lankan rupees. They use social media to slander us, the government, the Acting IGP and everyone else,” he said.  The Minister said the government brought the Online Safety Act to prevent such occurrences.    He said that some people in the world are guided through social media   
Minister Alles emphasized that the Online Safety Act will be an issue only for those who abuse social media.   

Meanwhile, Minister Alles said that the ‘Yukthiya’ operation, launched to crack down on the underworld and drug trade, is being successfully implemented across the island with significant impact.   

He said there is pressure both locally and internationally on the Acting IGP, himself, and other officials to halt this operation. “A certain group in the country is also using social media to attack us. However, as long as I hold this ministerial position, I will not yield to the demands of these groups or the international community. ‘Yukthiya’ is an operation aimed at safeguarding the future generations of our country,” he emphasized.    Public Security Ministry Secretary, Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon, senior DIGs, DIGs and other top officials of the police department, community police committee members were also present.