Media outlets, civil organizations, democracy advocacy groups, and trade unions, among others, have collectively reached a resolute stance following discussions with key opposition parties. Opposition leader Mr Sajith Premadasa has emphatically rejected the government’s proposed online security bill, declaring strong opposition and leading protests against it. This announcement was made during discussions at the opposition leader’s office, where various stakeholders, including civil society representatives, convened to address concerns about the government’s road safety bill.
Mr Sajith Premadasa underscored that the government’s purported aim to safeguard the rights of children, mothers, and the general populace has instead resulted in an unsettling concentration of power. He accused the government of introducing anti-democratic measures that infringe upon human rights, including freedom of speech, discussion, debate, and information sharing. The opposition leader argued that such actions undermine the democratic process.
Despite the President’s public image as a proponent of democracy, Mr Premadasa contended that the implementation of the proposed Act contradicts this perception. He asserted that the Act empowers the President, the appointed commission members, and security forces to arbitrarily exert pressure on the citizens, thereby stifling dissent through the threat of imprisonment.
Questioning the President’s commitment to democracy, Mr Premadasa urged the withdrawal of the controversial Act. He called for open and enlightened discussions with all stakeholders, emphasizing the need for a transparent democratic program instead of jeopardizing the country’s social media landscape.
Looking ahead, Mr Sajith Premadasa affirmed that once the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, a democratic alternative government, assumes power through the people’s mandate, it will abolish all anti-democratic decrees. He also called upon ambassadors to intervene in the matter, asserting that decisive action will be taken to restore democracy.