COLOMBO – Sri Lanka has not arrested anyone under the recently passed online safety law, Police spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa said, despite the minister in charge of public security claiming that one person was arrested for defamation.
“No one has been arrested under the Online Safety Act (OSA). We haven’t even appointed a commission yet,” Thalduwa said.
Media reports of an arrest came in the wake of a speech made by Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, who said that an individual was arrested by the CID under the new law.
Alles claimed that the individual had given a statement after the arrest that he had received money from a politician and was paid in dollars.
However, Thalduwa maintained that no one had been arrested by the CID.
The validity of the Online Safety Act has been questioned by several groups including opposition lawmakers, the Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, all of whom have pointed out that Supreme Court recommendations have not been accommodated in the Bill when it was passed in Parliament.