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Sri Lanka blocks social media temporarily to after attacks on mosques

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 13 May 2019 Print

Sri Lanka blocks social media temporarily to after attacks on mosques

Colombo, May 13: The Sri Lankan government has banned social media platforms and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp,  temporarily after  posts reportedly triggered anti-Muslim riots across several towns in the country, media reports said.

"It said that the decision to ban social media sites had been taken in an effort to stop the spread of rumours following the violence that erupted in Chilaw and the Kuliyapitiya area last evening," reported Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, government website news.lk said police curfew has been imposed in Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, Dummalasuriya and Hettipola Police divisions from 2 pm this afternoon (13), stated the Police Media Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara on Monday.

"Accordingly, the police curfew will in effect until 6 am tomorrow (14).Meanwhile, police curfew was imposed last night (12) at Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, and Dummalasuriya areas owing to a tense situation in the area. The curfew was lifted at 6 am this morning," the website said.

As per CNN report,  the social media crackdown followed alleged attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in a northwestern town over the weekend. 

Sri Lanka's biggest mobile network, Dialog Axiata, said that it has been directed to restrict Facebook, WhatsApp,Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

"As per the directive issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Facebook, WhatsApp,Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram & YouTube would be restricted with immediate effect until further notice," read the tweet.

Sri Lanka witnessed a massive terror attack on Easter Sunday when eight blasts rocked the country and killed over 253 people.

The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the incident.