SMS misstep reveals Colombo's information control
[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 September 2010, 02:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka government’s information department on Wednesday sent out a premature SMS (Short Message Service) alert to all mobile phone users in Sri Lanka, announcing that the 18th amendment to the constitution was passed in parliament with the government obtaining a two thirds majority for the bill. The SMS alert was sent 30 minutes before the bill was actually taken up in parliament for voting.
The SMS alert sent out at 6.05 p.m. Sri Lanka time said, “18th amendment to the constitution was passed in parliament with 2/3 majority with 160 votes for and 20 against it.”
However, incidentally at the time the SMS was sent, the bill had still not been taken up for vote in parliament.
But six minutes later, at approximately 6.11 p.m. Sri Lanka, the information department in yet another SMS alert said, "Error: The 18th Amendment not yet taken for vote yet.”
Finally, the bill was taken up at 7.00 p.m. Sri Lanka time and it was passed at approximately 7.07 p.m. and the bill was passed with 161 voting in favour and 17 voting against it.