Govt. looking into curbing negative fallout of social media - Ranil

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the government is looking at introducing new laws to curb the negative impact of the social media, but the issue is that they don’t operate from one single country.

Newspapers and television stations are based in a particular country. However, in the case of social media outlets, there are no restrictions on boundaries as they are not confined to a single country, the premier said.

He was responding to a question from Youth Parliament delegates during a meeting at Temple Trees last week.

"Issues with social media sites are not restricted to Sri Lanka. In fact, the UK and other countries in Europe are also confronted with similar problems. US President Donald Trump has also expressed his views on the subject", he explained.

The Prime Minister pointed out that companies which operate social media platforms are leading global business organizations. They exert pressure on continuing with their websites without a clamp down. In countries such as the UK, the government and local mainstream media have succeeded in pressurizing and controlling the social media.

Enacting laws and exerting such pressure are equally important. Some organizations in the world have evolved thanks to these social media sites. This should be borne in mind, Wickremesinghe noted.

Fielding a question on narcotics, he said that in the war against drugs, the first step should be to destroy the supply network. To reduce the use of dangerous drugs, supply sources should be rooted out.

Law and Order Minister, Sagala Ratanayake stressed that new laws need to be enacted to tackle the menace of narcotics. This process has already been initiated. Three rounds of discussions have already been held. At the next discussion, a draft of the envisaged laws will be prepared.

The Health and Law and Order ministries are working in partnership in this regard. "We have already busted many drug operations. Drugs and the underworld are interlinked. Most of these criminal elements have been arrested though some others are trying to escape by hiding".

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