Seven people have been arrested in Sri Lanka over the last two days under allegations of spreading false news on the coronavirus.
In total 16 people have been arrested under the charge of spread false information of the coronavirus. However, it follows Dr. Ramesh Pathirana an MP for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party encouraged individuals to drink black tea 3-4 times a day to help fight the coronavirus and other respiratory issues despite the lack of credible evidence.
Dr. Thusiyan Nandakumar, editor in chief of the Tamil Guardian, responded to Pathirana’s claim stating;
“This type of fake news is not totally harmless. Just last month, hundreds of people in Iran died from drinking methanol after false rumours claimed it can cure coronavirus. There are real lives at stake here”.
Human Rights Watch has also raised concerns over Sri Lanka using the current crisis caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to curb free expression.
Read more here: ‘Sri Lanka Uses Pandemic to Curtail Free Expression’ – HRW