Cabinet approval has been granted to amend the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code to take action against false news distribution, extremist statements and any statement that could be harmful to the national security.
The government Information Dept web site English gives a sumarised version of the related cabinet decision on 04.06.2019.
15, Revision of Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to take Legal actions against false news distribution.
“The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara Minister of Public Administration, Disaster Management, and Rural Economic Affairs in his capacity as the Acting Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms to fine more than 1 million or a imprisonment not more than 5 years or impose both punishments with respect to a guilty for such offence.”
The minutes of the cabinet meeting published by the same Information Dept gives more details on the proposed amendments. The item 15 of the minutes says that Cabinet approval has been granted to amend the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code in order to take legal action against false news that is harmful to harmony between the nations and national security. Item 16 includes hate speech that is harmful to harmony between the nations and national security.