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Friday, 16 March 2018 - 19:30
Strike necessary balance in regulating social media, says HRCSL
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Dr. N. D. Udagama, Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka writing a letter to the Chairman of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission says that any future policy regarding the regulation of social media to deal with hate speech must strike that necessary balance so that freedom of expression and the right to information are restricted only within the legal limits permitted by the Constitution and Sri Lanka's international human rights obligations in the larger public interest.

President’s Secretary Austin Fernando is the Chairman of the TRCSL.

Dr. Udagama reiterated the urgent need to take legal action against those who are using social media to propagate communal hatred and incite sectarian violence under applicable laws.

HRCSL has received several complaints from the public when the social media platforms were remained restricted after the Kandy violence was controlled.

Then the TRCSL was instructed by President Maithripala Sirisena to remove restrictions on Facebook yesterday. Restrictions on Viber and WhatsApp removed earlier.

The Commission said that it recognizes the critical necessity to protect freedom of expression and the right to information as guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka's international human rights obligations.

“ln doing so, we recognize the need to strike the necessary balance between those rights and maintenance of public order and the protection of the rights of all”, the HRCSL said.

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