Govt Wants Websites Publishing Sri Lanka News To Register With Media Ministry!

I just received the following SMS message on my mobile phone from Dialog Adaderana News Alerts.

“All websites that publish news on Sri Lanka or its people from here or elsewhere requested to register with the Media Ministry-Govt Info dept- – SMS Time: 05/11/2011 17:07:21”

As a average middle class citizen of Sri Lanka who does a bit of blogging about my country through this website, I’m very concerned about this new development. I would very much like to hear what you think about this issue?

Particularly about things like…

Is this move legal? Doesn’t it smack on smell like a move by the Government to curtain free speech?
Does this mean if someone has or wants to start even a blog using a free blogging platform in some remote corner of Sri Lanka they needs to register with the Media Ministry of Sri Lanka?
What will be the consequences if some website, blog or webpages with news feeds like a MySpace page or Facebook page doesn’t register with the media ministry? (Can the government block those sites or arrest the website owners and bloggers?)

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