UNP Chairman, Former Minister Parliamentarian Wajira Abeywardena, emphasised that the present government is dedicated to elevating Sri Lanka’s global standing by ensuring the public’s access to accurate information, drawing inspiration from the significance of the Media Development Authority Act of Singapore in their developmental journey.

He highlighted that while everyone enjoys the freedom of social media, regulations will be introduced to deter its misuse for personal attacks or vengeful actions. Speaking at a press conference held yesterday (16) at the Presidential Media Centre, Abeywardena highlighted that the establishment of the Commission on the Safety of Online Systems will serve as an experimental platform for both journalists and citizens.

He noted that individuals spreading defamatory or false information through online systems will face legal consequences, and the commission itself does not possess punitive authority.
“With the advancement of communication worldwide and in Sri Lanka, people have witnessed various outcomes. However, it’s clear that communication can also be used to mislead and insult citizens. Consequently, those responsible for social media platforms have been striving to establish regulations.

He said that there is an ongoing debate about the necessity of such regulations. “The regulation of all television media was governed by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Act, which lacked comprehensive press development provisions.”

He added that developed countries across the globe have implemented regulatory frameworks to ensure the accuracy of information and the responsible conduct of media outlets.
“Instances of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram negatively impacting young lives, even to the point of suicide, highlight the urgent need for rules and regulations.”
It’s important to emphasise that controlling the harmful aspects of information channels, such as Facebook, ensuring the dissemination of accurate information, and enforcing laws against those spreading false information are vital for the progress of an educated and developing
society, he said.