Attempts to regulate online content; block websites; attacks on journalists and repeated statements from government officials threatening those who provide alternative views do not appear good for the future of online freedom of expression in Sri Lanka, says the latest Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) report released today. This analysed the Internet freedom in Sri Lanka compared to other societies.
Though it claims only little signs of any improvements to freedom of expression in Sri Lanka despite the end of war, the report is not as pessimistic as anybody anticipates it to be. Internet users, it still says need to be weary of attempts to ban online pornography and more general bans on ‘indecent advertising’ as concerns about ‘decency’ could be the start of a slippery slope towards a wider censorship program. Internet Filters that are established to remove pornography today can be used to remove a political dissent tomorrow. Sri Lankans need to be especially vigilant about such possibilities, warns the report, given the existing socio political climate that has little tolerance for alternative views or values.
Download the full report Freedom of expression and the Internet in Sri Lanka