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Sri Lanka blocks social media platforms to 'prevent spread of false information', day after Sinhalese-Muslim clashes

Colombo: Sri Lankan on Monday temporarily blocked Facebook, WhatsApp and some social media platforms as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of false information a day after clashes broke out between ethnic Sinhalese group and minority Muslims.

 Sri Lanka blocks social media platforms to prevent spread of false information, day after Sinhalese-Muslim clashes

Sri Lankan firefighters stand in the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo recently. AP

"Access to social media applications, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber etc. has been temporarily suspended," the Sri Lanka Information Department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, curfew imposed in Negombo after tensions between communities erupted, has been lifted, reported Colombo Page. A church in the town was targeted during the 21 April bombings.

Police spokesman, SP Ruwan Gunasekara, said the curfew in Negombo was lifted at 7 am on Monday after the situation was brought under control.

This was the first incident of violence between the two communities since the 21 April terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 257 people in the island nation. After the Easter Sunday attacks, the Sri Lankan authorities had imposed restrictions on social media platforms but lifted them on 30 April.

During the Kandu riots in March 2018, Sri Lanka had blocked popular social media networks, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and Instagram, for three days to prevent the spread of communal violence.

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Updated Date: May 06, 2019 15:52:26 IST