Government insists no taping

The government insists that there is no taping of mobile phones taking place in Sri Lanka especially of phones used by journalists.

Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath said that the authorities in Sri Lanka did not possess the technology to tap mobile phones.

“As far as I am aware there is no instrument that can tap mobile phones. I have no knowledge of such a move and moreover there are certain regulations in the country which does not allow such activities,” he added

Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena also insisted that the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) had not purchased sophisticated equipment to tap mobile and land phones.

However sources had told a local Sunday newspaper recently that the equipment was purchased last year and can be used to tap phones without obtaining the assistance of any telecommunication company.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had said that such methods of phone tapping are illegal and can be challenged in Court.

BASL Secretary Sanjaya Gamage had said that phone tapping infringes on the privacy of an individual and violates the Telecom Regulatory Act.

He said that if phones need to be tapped for security reasons, the process needs to be part of an investigation with a Court order.

Report by Indika Sri Aravinda