FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

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TRC uncertain about new law – (Sim card limitation)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 01:14
By Lakna Paranamanna

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) yesterday said it was still unclear on certain particulars relating to the new regulation which permits a single individual to possess only five sim cards under his/her name.

TRC Director General Anusha Palpita told the Daily Mirror it needed to clarify certain particulars regarding this new law with the
Defence Ministry as they were uncertain about its specifics.

“The guidelines introduced by the Defence Ministry are not imposed under any act or regulation of the TRC,” he said adding that the TRC’s role concerning this new law so far was to pass the message to the service providers.

The Defence Ministry introduced a new regulation last week which announced that a single person would be permitted to use only five sim cards in his or her name. The law is to be put into effect from January 1, 2011. The Defence Ministry has informed through a circular that all persons who are currently using a mobile phone have to register their sim cards prior December 31, 2010 and all sims that remain unregistered by then are to be disconnected.

However, since the guidelines issued by the Defense Ministry circular did not refer to any act or regulation under which they are imposed, certain parties have expressed concern regarding the legality of this move. “These are still guidelines, hence they cannot be imposed. In order to implement this law, the regulations should be gazetted. Therefore until then, neither the concerned Ministry nor any other authority would be able to take any action against those who do not register their sims,” a concerned official said.

However Mr. Palpita said since this measure was taken in consideration of the country’s security, they would not hesitate to take any action against parties who fail to adhere by the new law.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/index.php/news/front-page-news/25443.html

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