Despite the Sri Lankan government's claims it had significantly improved press freedom, a report published by Groundviews on Friday revealed that 13 news websites had been blocked since 2015, when the present Sirisena and Ranil led unity government came to power.
An RTI request to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) by Groundviews and its sisters sites revealed not only the list of websites but that the order to block the sites came from "as high up as the "Presidential Secretariat, for at least four of the websites".
Groundviews further reported:
"The reasons given for blocking four websites (www.vigasapuwath.blogspot.com, www.ukussa.org, www.lankanewsweb.today, and www.lankacnews) was for “publishing incorrect information and damaging the President’s reputation”. Two others, www.lankanewsweb.today and www.sinhala.lnwtoday were blocked for “publishing false information.”
Website www.newjaffna.net was blocked for making defamatory comments about judges in Jaffna. Two of the flagged websites published pornographic material, and were blocked following an investigation by the Cyber Crimes Division.
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