Public security minister Tiran Alles this afternoon (06) hosted a meeting with civil society, media and social media activists to discuss the online safety bill.
Participants pointed out to the minister that the draft had been introduced to parliament without first consulting the stakeholders.
It will impede the freedom of expression and a non-independent commission appointed by the political authority will do the regulatory work, they also noted.
For his part, minister Alles said the bill had been the result of a process that started in 2016, with the Law Commission preparing it under two justice ministers.
He said he was tasked by the cabinet with tabling the draft to the House, which he has done.
One of its aims is to minimize an increasing online harassment of children and women, said Alles.
Views and proposals gathered during the meeting would be considered, as well as talks will be held with the Asia Internet Coalition, the Bar Association, Colombo-based diplomatic missions, civil and media organizations, he added.
Participating in the discussion were ministry Secretary Viani Gunatilake and representatives of the Sri Lanka Press Institute, Media Law Forum, Free Media Movement, FACTUM and the collective of social media organizations.