Fake news and misinformation will be dealt with sternly – DIG Ajith Rohana

Fake news and misinformation will be dealt with sternly – DIG Ajith Rohana

March 26, 2020   08:25 pm


DIG Ajith Rohana says that the Police Department is closely monitoring social media in order to crack down on fake news and misinformation in relation to the country’s COVID-19 efforts, and plans to take stern action against any perpetrators.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) stated that 3 teams are constantly monitoring such misinformation on the internet and social media.

Joining for a live discussion with Indeewari Amuwatte on First at 9, DIG Rohana stated that 03 arrests have been made over fake news on social media regarding COVID-19 so far, the most recent being the arrest of an administrator of a reputed private university in Homagama.

The perpetrator, who is now remanded, had falsely claimed that there had been 10 deaths in Sri Lanka from the coronavirus and that the government does not divulge such information to the public, the DIG added.

He points out that the authorities have named 12 categories who are allowed to travel without a curfew pass while the curfew is enforced.

Accordingly, all members of the health care sector, members in service of supplying medicine, health care/medical equipment, media personnel, members of public and private transportation, employees of the government or private institutions that provide food and other essential items, members of institutions which provide communication services, members of NGO or other voluntary services dealing with COVID-19 issue, air passengers heading to the airport, patients, ambulances, pregnant mothers attending clinics, persons in need of buying medicine will be allowed to travel during the curfew.

Speaking further on the curfew, DIG Ajith Rohana says that the duration of the curfew will depend on the conduct of the public. If the public maintains disciplined conduct in following the regulations set by the quarantine law, the curfew may be lifted within 2-3 weeks, he said.

Meanwhile, the temporary lift of curfew is ‘not a blanket approval for people to move here and there’, emphasized the DIG.

If there is a need for something and if it is absolutely required, only one person from that particular house may go outside to run these errands, he added.

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