The Sri Lankan government blocked five news websites after finding articles that insulted political figures, accusing the sites of “character assassination.”
Media groups have lashed out, criticising the move as “undemocratic.”
Although Sri Lankan laws do not prevent the press from criticising political figures, it does not tolerate defamation and publications can be charged if suspected.
Information and Media Ministry Secretary, W.B Ganegala said that the five sites were publishing reports that involved “character assassination” and “violating individual privacy.”
Many viewers complained about the websites and after collecting the reports, the ministry decided to block them.
The government did not mention which content led to the move, but it has been reported that the five sites published articles that were critical of the government and accused them of “corruption” and “malfeasance.”