AG clears draft Bill on hateful and malicious online content | Sunday Observer

AG clears draft Bill on hateful and malicious online content

6 September, 2023

No room for religious hatred

Commission to provide legal relief for victims of online abuse and harassment

The Attorney General has given his clearance for the draft Bill on the security of online material, drafted by the Legal Draftsman with the objective of safeguarding society from the damage caused by false information and discriminating content through the internet.

Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said that this draft Bill will not have any effect on non-false and non-hateful publications.

He said that only communication of false statements which spread malicious, untruthful and other religious and communal sentiments and intentionally provoke society have been cited as offences.

The Minister said that the Government has taken measures to establish a commission to provide legal relief for those who become the victims of online abuse and harassment.

Minister Dr. Gunawardhana was addressing a Cabinet press briefing yesterday said that communication of false statements on the incidents within Sri Lanka, false statements causing defamation, content which paves the way for riots by provocation without reason, disturbing a religious assembly through false statements  and communication of false statements with the sole intention of hurting religious emotions are considered offences under this Bill. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution furnished by the Public Security Ministry to publish a draft Bill in the Government gazette and subsequently submit the same to the Parliament for its concurrence.