In a recent tweet, UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Andrew Patrick, expressed close attention to the parliamentary proceedings surrounding the country’s proposed Online Safety Bill. Acknowledging the concerns raised by civil society and industry stakeholders, Patrick emphasized the potential impact of the bill on both Freedom of Expression and Sri Lanka’s economic growth.
“I’ve heard civil society and industry concerns about its impact on Freedom of Expression and on Sri Lanka’s economic growth. Important that this is implemented in a way that preserves both,” Patrick’s tweet read.
The UK High Commissioner’s statement adds to the growing international scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s Online Safety Bill, which has faced criticism for its potential implications on freedom of speech and economic stability. The concerns raised by civil society and industry leaders align with worries about the bill granting authorities broad powers to regulate online content, raising fears of potential censorship.