Colombo, March 9 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lankan government, on Friday said that a temporary blockade on social media which was imposed on Wednesday to prevent the spread of hate speech in the wake of deadly anti Muslim clashes, will be lifted on Saturday.
Deputy Minister for National Policy and Economic Affairs, Harsha de Silva informed Parliament the government had taken a decision to block social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram and Facebook as this platform was being used to spread false news and hate speech in the wake of communal clashes in Kandy.
“Trolls and bots manipulate social media sites to spread false and inflammatory news in an apparent effort to stoke political and ethnic divisions on a large scale. Hence it is difficult to control social media as news is spread so fast,” the Minister said.
“We needed to block social media temporarily to stop the spread of this malicious and inflammatory news. Now the situation is settling,” he added.
Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekara, speaking at a Foreign Correspondents Association Forum in Colombo, said Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory body had been summoned by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka over the three day ban on social media throughout the island.
Jayasekara said that although according to law, this was considered a human rights violation, the government had taken the decision in order to curb the spread of false and malicious news as this had triggered the situation to spiral out of control.
“Actually when social media platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp was blocked for three days, the TRC had to appear before the Human Rights Commission. But state security was important than anything else and we are glad the situation is now returning to normal, Jayasekara said.