Ban on access to Facebook lifted with immediate effect

The ban on access to Facebook in Sri Lanka has been lifted with immediate effect.

President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the telecommunications regulator to lift the ban following talks held today between the Government and officials from Facebook.

The Government had earlier taken steps to lift the temporarily restrictions imposed on WhatsApp and Viber.

Meanwhile the President’s Media Division said that the Government had taken steps to restrict access to social media tools temporarily during the last few days, in order to curtail the attempts to spread communal violence across the country, misusing the social media in a manner detrimental to the national harmony.

“In a context where the impact that could be made by social media to expeditiously increase violent actions based on racism and religious extremism has been internationally proven, Sri Lanka was able to control the rapid spread of violence by temporarily imposing restriction on social media as an action to ensure the national and public safety of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.

However, the President has stressed on the importance of a guided mechanism to prevent the attempts to disturb the livelihoods of people through spreading  ethnic-hatred and racism and damaging the image of an individual through false allegations. (Colombo Gazette)