Laws needed to regulate social media: PM

Ranil Wickremasinghe

The government is keeping a close watch on the activities of certain websites in social media, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Laws will be introduced if necessary, if such websites fail to listen to reason, the Prime Minister said at the National Meelad-un-Nabi ceremony in Guruthalawa on Monday.

“We can take steps against the print and electronic media if they propagate extremism. However, we cannot control the damage caused by social media if they spread extremism. Laws will be introduced if necessary, if such websites fail to listen to reason,” he said. He also said an inter-faith dialogue is imperative to secure religious harmony and promotion of tolerance in Sri Lanka.

“The government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena wants to strengthen ethnic and inter-faith harmony which is essential for peace in Sri Lanka.

Maintaining law and order and discussing to solve problems are what the government is focusing on. We cannot allow a handful of people to cause public unrest.

The government reassures the people’s right to choose and practice any religion of their choice,” Wickremesinghe said.

The Prime Minister said one of the major setback in Islamic education in Sri Lanka is the shortage of Moulavi teachers.

“The government has now taken the initiative to fill this gap. I have briefed the education minister to recruit Moulavi teachers in 2017,” Wickremesinghe said.

“Whatever language we speak and whatever religion we follow, we should always keep in mind that we all are Sri Lankans. It is our responsibility to eliminate attempts to spread extremism. Several years back, the people feared that they might not be allowed to follow the religion they prefer. This is not so now,” he said.

“The present government will not allow any sort of extremism. We are moving forward with the national reconciliation process,” Wickremesinghe said.

(Source: Daily News – By Amali Mallawaarachchi)