62 major civil organizations and 61 prominent civil activists in Sri Lanka have joined together voice their opposition to the recently passed Online Security Bill.
In a joint statement, they implore the Speaker to withhold his signature on the bill until it is confirmed that the amendments and guidelines mandated by the Supreme Court have been incorporated.
The coalition, consisting of media outlets, civil organizations, and trade unions, expresses deep concern over the apparent haste with which the bill was approved in parliament last Wednesday (24). Notably, the stakeholders lament the lack of consultation with relevant parties and the disregard for recommendations put forth by the Supreme Court.
Highlighting the urgency of their appeal, the organizations stress that sovereign citizens of Sri Lanka are vehemently protesting the passage of the bill through their collective signatures. Opposition members have underscored that the parliamentary debate on the draft bill occurred without the inclusion of specific amendments mandated by the Supreme Court.
The media has played a crucial role in disseminating information about the situation. They point out that the Supreme Court issued orders and proposed amendments after reviewing 52 petitions against the bill. As concerned citizens, the coalition urges the Speaker to exercise due diligence before signing the bill into law, ensuring that all necessary amendments are thoroughly incorporated.
The alliance of civil organizations and trade unions has formally communicated their stance to the Speaker through a written letter. The document emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the right to expression and calls for a reconsideration of the Online Security Bill in light of the Supreme Court’s recommendations.
The letter is as follows: