Sri Lanka: Civil Liberties

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 5 February 2024.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Sri Lankan Online Safety Act on freedom of expression and religion in that country.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Despite concerns expressed by civil society, opposition parties and international internet providers regarding the potential negative impacts of the Online Safety Act, the Sri Lankan Parliament passed it into law on 24 January. The UK also raised concerns about the impact of this Act on freedom of expression and economic growth, including when I met Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe in October, and when Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, Minister of State for South Asia, met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on 25 January. The UK will continue to closely follow developments on this Act.

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