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Sri Lankan Cabinet Spokesperson Assures Online Safety Law Aims to Prevent Harmful Content, Not Stifle Freedom of Expression

Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Spokesperson and Minister, addressed concerns surrounding the proposed Online Safety law in the country, asserting that its primary objective is to safeguard against harmful content rather than curtail freedom of expression.

In response to apprehensions voiced by the United States concerning the legislation, Dr. Gunawardena underlined that Sri Lanka maintains its status as “an independent country with sovereignty and territorial integrity.” He reiterated the parliament’s prerogative to enact legislation in accordance with national interests.

Dr. Gunawardena emphasized that the government’s overarching goal is not to “control the media or social networks.” Instead, he clarified that the legislation aims to mitigate ethnic and religious conflicts while shielding individuals from detrimental content, including “false and hateful statements, sexual abuse, and information that could lead to the endangerment of children, families, and places of worship.”

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