Popular website ‘ Gossip Lanka ‘ (gossip lankanews .com) has been blocked, stated the Director General of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Anusha Palpita.
He stated that it was blocked by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission under a written order of the Ministry of Mass Media & Information.
However, the administrators of the website yesterday stated that the Sri Lanka viewers cannot access ‘ Gossip Lanka’ due to a technical error.
The administrators further stated that those who wish to view the website can gain access through proxy.
He stated that there are no legal provisions in the prevailing constitution to regulate the activities of internet media including websites, blogs, facebook and twitter. Similarly, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission possess no authority to block websites, he said.
Telecommunications Regulatory Act was implemented to regulate the activities of Television channels and Radio channels and when the act was implemented the internet was not at such an advanced level.
The Director General of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission or the Secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information do not possess authority to regulate internet and being involved in such activities is illegal, he added.
However, Free Media Movement have submitted a petition in Supreme Court regarding the ban on 5 other news websites. Even though the petition was rejected the court was unable provide a clear explanation on the grounds which it was rejected.
Therefore, there is no code of ethics passed by the parliament to regulate new media, Jayasekara stated.
Under this situation government is misusing government authorities to gain control or regulate the websites which criticize the government and the government has already banned several websits which expressed discontentment towards it.
Following the regulations implemented by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information ‘Gossip Lanka’ has been registered under the Ministry as a news website after paying an amount of Rs. 25,000. Therefore blocking the website without any prior notification is an extension of government’s media suppression, he noted.
Few months ago goverment blocked gossip9.com as well.
related : Gossip9 No more ?