In a call to Colombo Telegraph editor, Uvindu Kurukulasuriya last night, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Telecommunications, Mangala Samaraweera referring to the Colombo Telegraph story on blocking, expressed regret and promised to launch an immediate investigation.
Samaraweera insisted that it was not the policy of the Government to block any website and said that an independent report as well as a report on server management will not only be submitted soon but that they will be made public.
As we stated in our research only the parts of the network that use the server r1.ns.stl.lk are affected by the blocking. The important fact here is that the DNS server remains configured to block the site and there is no means for us to find out which parts of the network are blocked until a proper investigation takes place.
It is our understanding that the blocking was implemented at the direction of the Telecom Regulatory Commission and/or the Minister. Under the provisions of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act, No. 25 of 1991, s. 69, “the Minister may, upon being satisfied of the above matter by Order made either generally and published in the Gazette or specially in writing in respect of any telecommunication service provided in any place in Sri Lanka or in any ship in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka or in any vehicle or aircraft in or over Sri Lanka or the territorial waters thereof.”
In the absence of such lawful order, we contend that the TRCSL has engaged in an act that is ultra vires. Colombo Telegraph request the Sri Lankan government authorities to examine the facts of the case and provide us with (a) a detailed explanation and (b) an assurance that such unlawful acts shall not be repeated.
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