Anti-Muslim riots, Sri Lanka govt blocks social media

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Sri Lanka on Wednesday blocked popular social media networks, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and Instagram to name a few, for three days in order to prevent the spread of communal violence across the country.

“The social media in the country is now being filtered as requested by the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry, so as to prevent transmitting fake news or rumours that instill a fear psychosis or a threat to communal harmony”, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said in a statement.

According to local media reports, users will not be able to access popular social media networks in Kandy district, the centre of violence, and other places across the country. The Sri Lankan Government earlier on Tuesday imposed a state of emergency for 10 days to control law and order in the country to quell the anti-Muslim riots.

A curfew was reimposed on Monday in two police divisions of Kandy district till Wednesday, following the tense situation that claimed two lives. More than two dozen arrests have been made so far in this regard. Members of the Buddhist community held a protest outside a police station in Kandy, demanding the release of its people who were arrested in the riots.

The police said that the special security arrangements, put in place in the areas, would continue and the country’s Special Task Force (STF) were deployed to maintain peace.