Measures To Restrict Social Media ‘Extraordinary But Temporary’ Digital Minister Says: Laments The Use Of Social Media To Perpetuate Violence

Digital Minister Harin Fernando said today that the measures taken to restrict access to certain social media sites were “extraordinary but temporary”, explaining that it was a response to “limit the increasing spread of hate speech and violence through these mediums.”

The Minister lamented the use of social media, which he said was created to bring us closer to our friends and family and make communication free and convenient, in destroying families, lives and property.

Earlier today, Government Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters the government had instructed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to restrict access to social media sites in a bid to limit the spread of hate speech and violence.

Sinhala-Buddhist ultra-nationalists used popular communication platforms – particularly Facebook – to issue a call to arms after a Sinhalese man was killed in Kandy on Saturday (3) by four Muslim men.

A mob descended on Kandy and set fire to Muslim establishments and homes prompting Police and the Special Task Force (STF) to use tear gas to disperse the crowds. Over 24 persons were arrested, while the body of a youth was discovered in a burned house on Tuesday (6).

The government has imposed a curfew on all parts of the Kandy administrative district, while the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has sent three special teams, each consisting three DIGs and 3 SPs, to Kandy to control the situation on the ground.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a special CID team was also sent to Kandy to begin investigations into the incident. The CID team is expected to submit a report to the Prime Minister – who is the Minister of Law and Order – at the conclusion of the investigation.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd