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Russia backs Sri Lankan government over Online Safety Bill

calls matter purely internal

Russian Ambassador in Sri Lanka Levan Dzhagaryan’ s comments came in the backdrop of the US envoy here saying that she was concerned about the potential impact of the bill.

Screenshot 2024 01 27 075332COLOMBO: Russia has backed the Sri Lankan government’s decision to adopt the controversial Online Safety Bill, saying that the matter was purely an internal matter for the island nation and any kind of interference over it will be unacceptable.

Sri Lankan Parliament on January 24 approved with amendments the controversial Online Safety Bill that seeks to regulate online content amid criticism from the opposition that claimed it will stifle freedom of speech.

The new legislation would lead to the establishment of the Online Safety Commission which is empowered to make punitive rulings on offenses.

A false statement online would be liable, if convicted, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand Sri Lankan rupees.

In a statement, Russian Ambassador in Sri Lanka Levan Dzhagaryan said that Russia was closely following the situation about the Online Safety Bill in the country.

His comments came in the backdrop of the US envoy here saying that she was concerned about the potential impact of the bill.

“We are following the situation with the Online Safety Bill in Sri Lanka, which has been adopted by the Parliamentary majority in all readings recently.

We also take notice of all comments and reactions on this legislature both from the domestic political sphere and among the foreign powers accredited in this country, “he said.

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