Jan 08, 2021

Website of Iraj's partner, blocked Featured

An access restriction had been imposed on www.thetruth.lk on Jan. 06, reports say.

The website, that prominently backed president Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the last presidential and General elections, is said to have been blocked on the directives of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL).

The website is owned by Cyber Dreams (Pvt) Ltd., which in return is owned by a Sri Lankan living in US - Dinesh Udagedara (Denta), who is the main social media partner of musician Iraj Weeraratne.

Iraj Weeraratne's Noize TV and Colombo Tribune was also blocked after the shared server used by these websites and thetruth.lk was blocked.

It is said that the reason for this is doing an exposè on a Sri Lankan media owner and sending the link via a text to several opposition MPs including the opposition leader.

Following the incident, Cyber Dreams (Pvt) Ltd has send a Letter of Demand to Hutchinson Telecom Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and to its CEO - Thirukumar Nadarasa.

The LoD was in connection with the service suspension of bulk SMS services provided by the mobile service provider.

The LoD is show below.

Cyber Dreams

Cyber Dreams 1

In response, Hutchinson Telecom Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. has stated that the service was suspended due to a pending investigation by the TRCSL.

(The relevant part of the letter is shown below.)

Cyber Dreams 2

Meanwhile, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Harin Fernando had revealed about the incident during the ‘Rathu Ira’ TV program yesterday (07).

When contacting the President of Professional Web Journalists’ Association (PWJA) - Freddy Gamage, we were told that although the aforementioned website was not a member of the PWJA, it had earlier been engaged in talks to do so.

He added that if activities of websites and cyber activists were blocked just for being critical, it sets a bad precedent, especially in backdrop where the media minister had said that a new media culture would be created.