Minister Alles did NOT make a statement about the first arrest under the online safety bill!

Missing Context Social

දිනපතා සත්‍ය කරුණු දැන ගැනීමට අපගේ WhatsApp සමුහයටමෙතනින් එකතුවන්න.

The Online Safety Bill became one of the most contentious bills in Sri Lanka. Despite strong objections by the opposition, the government secured parliamentary approval, and the bill was passed into law with the speaker’s signature.

Social Media and Web Reports 

Viral social media posts recently alleged that the Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alles, made a statement regarding the purported first arrest under the Online Safety Bill at a recent function. A short video clip was also attached to those social media claims. Even mainstream websites also reported the same narrative.


We decided to do a fact-check on this. 

Fact Check 

The cropped video was obtained from a speech delivered by Minister Tiral Alles during a special workshop held at the Panadura police area to inform the community police committees about the Yukthiya special operation conducted countrywide.

We listened to the entire speech delivered by Minister Tiran Alles; however, he did not speak about any arrests under the Online Safety Bill. He discussed the Yukthiya anti-drug operation in detail and criticized the politicians who were politicizing it.

Minister Alles did mention an arrest in Piliyandala related to defamatory campaigns on social media, implicating a politician’s involvement and financial support to the suspect. However, the Minister never mentioned that this arrest was made under the Online Safety Act either.

Some people in the world are guided through social media. Social media can also be used to overthrow a government. They want drugs to spread in the country, underworld activities to grow, and the country to collapse. People working with that purpose are making various statements against this Online Safety Bill. This Bill is only a problem for people who mishandle social media.” added Minister Tiran Alles during the special workshop.

The minister`s full speech can be listened to below. 

Confirmation from Minister Alles:

When we contacted Minister Alles, he also confirmed there was no mention of any arrest under the Online Safety Bill.

Police Confirmation:

The Police Media Spokesman clarified that no arrests had yet been made under the Online Safety Bill. The committee required to operationalise the Online Safety Bill has not been appointed by the president, making it impossible to enforce the law at present, the Police Media Spokesman said to Fact Crescendo.

Arrested Person’s Situation:

“The individual mentioned by Minister Alles was arrested under the existing cybercrime law, not the Online Safety Bill. The cybercrime law has been in effect in Sri Lanka for a significant period.”, the Police media spokesman said.

Cabinet Decision to Amend the Bill:

Media reports indicate that the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to amend the passed  Online Safety Bill in response to various concerns. A report can be reached here.

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Minister Alles did not announce any arrests under the Online Safety Bill. Police confirm no arrests under the bill due to the absence of an operational committee. The individual arrested in Piliyandala was not apprehended under the Online Safety Bill but under existing cybercrime laws. The Cabinet decided to amend the passed bill to reflect recognition of concerns raised by various parties.


Title:Minister Alles didn’t say the first arrest under the online safety bill has been done

Written By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Missing Context

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