August 29, 2016 / 7:02 PM / 3 years ago

Sri Lankan court detains two after presidential hack over exam date

A padlock is displayed at the Alert Logic booth during the 2016 Black Hat cyber-security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. August 3, 2016. REUTERS/David Becker

COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lanka court remanded a man and a teenager in custody on Tuesday on suspicion of hacking into the president’s website to demand that authorities abandon a proposal to switch university entrance exams to the new year holiday month of April.

Police arrested a 17-year old school boy as the primary suspect on Monday and a 26-year old man on Tuesday, on suspicion of helping the first suspect, officials said.

Both were produced before a court on Tuesday which remanded them in custody, a lawyer said.

“Police filed charges under the Computer Crimes Act and the court remanded the two until Friday,” Manju Sri Chandrasean, the lawyer who appeared for the second suspect, told Reuters.

The 17-year old had been sent to a youth detention center, he said.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s website,, was first hacked on Thursday and then again on Friday.

The hacker, proclaiming to speak for “The Sri Lanka Youth”, posted a message demanding a presidential election immediately if Sirisena did not prevent the changing of the examination date to April, the month most Sri Lankans celebrate a traditional new year holiday.

University entrance exams are in August but the government is considering shifting them to April. No final decision has been made.

Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Writing by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Robert Birsel

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