In Sri Lanka, social networking sites have been restricted


On Sunday April 3, the Sri Lankan army with assault weapons and police manned checkpoints in Colombo as the government shut down social media platforms after imposing a curfew to quell popular unrest triggered by the country’s economic crisis.

The latest restrictions came after the government imposed a nationwide curfew on Saturday following violent protests against the government’s handling of the economic crisis. On Monday, the curfew will be in effect until 06:00 (00:30 GMT or 08:30 Philippine time).

Internet monitoring organization NetBlocks said real-time network data showed Sri Lanka had imposed a nationwide social media shutdown, restricting access to platforms including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram as a state of emergency was declared amid widespread protests.

The country’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Namal Rajapaksa, who is also President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s nephew, said in a tweet that he would “never tolerate social media blocking”.

President Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency on Friday, raising fears of a crackdown on protests as the country grapples with rising prices, shortages of essentials and power cuts.

“The availability of VPN, just as I use it now, makes such bans completely unnecessary. I urge the authorities to think more gradually and reconsider this decision.

Emergency powers in the past have allowed the military to arrest and detain suspects without a warrant, but the terms of the current powers are still unclear.

It also marked a sharp shift in political support for President Rajapaksa, who came to power in 2019 on a promise of stability.

Summary of news:

  • In Sri Lanka, social networking sites have been restricted
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