Sri Lanka readies laws to curb hate speech, false news

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka's government will introduce laws to curb hate speech and false news that threaten ethnic reconciliation and national security, in the aftermath of Easter bombings that killed more than 250 people.

According to a government statement, those found guilty of distributing false news would face five years in prison and a million rupee ($5,670) fine. The government says a penalty for hate speech will be announced later, after Parliament approves amendments to the penal code.

The Easter Sunday suicide attacks on churches and hotels were claimed by local Muslim militants tied to the Islamic State group. Since then, minority Muslims have seen their shops and homes burned and faced harassment in public places, spread by hate comments.

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