• Population: 18,910,000
  • Internet users: 200,000 (2002)
  • Average charge for 20 hours of connection: 12 euros
  • DAI*: 0.38
  • Situation**: middling

The Internet is fairly free, especially since the December 2002 ceasefire between the government and the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels.

No special law regulates the Internet. The telecom regulatory body gives technical approval of ISPs. Webmasters and editors have to register with the Council for Information Technology (Cintec) showing an ID or commercial licence, making it easy for the authorities to identify them. However no websites have been censored.

Tamilnet under pressure

The news site www.tamilnet.com is the country's best-known Tamil political publication and is under constant press from both the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels, which it supports The editor, Dharmaratnam Sivaram, was attacked in his office by thugs in December 2001 (see 2003 Report). In the run-up to the April 2004 elections, he was summoned and interrogated several times by Tamil Tiger officials, who tightly control their own publications.


* The DAI (Digital Access Index) has been devised by the International Telecommunications Union to measure the access of a country's inhabitants to information and communication technology. It ranges from 0 (none at all) to 1 (complete access).

** Assessment of the situation in each country (good, middling, difficult, serious) is based on murders, imprisonment or harassment of cyber-dissidents or journalists, censorship of news sites, existence of independent news sites, existence of independent ISPs and deliberately high connection charges.


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