Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena warned that he may unilaterally block social media access across the island if it were to be ‘misused’ citing “national security” and “ethnic harmony”.
The Daily Mirror quoted Mr Sirisena as stating that he had “summoned a team of experts who work in a global institution in the US that attend to issues pertaining to social media”. He added,
“I discussed with them the influence of the social media has on social and national security, ethnic harmony, integrity of a family and so on because social media has influenced them badly. I also told the US experts that if they could not control what was going on in Sri Lanka,
“I would take steps to control misusing of social media notwithstanding whoever opposed.
“We have no issue with web sites as to who does the correct thing and provides good entertainment to the people and useful education to children.”
The Sri Lankan president went on to claim that he was “one of the most affected victims of social media mudslinging campaigns”.
“If this kind of acts committed during the previous regime, he or she would not have survived much longer,” he added. “Within days they would have been wiped out.”
His comments come on the back of Colombo blocking social media access earlier this year, after Sinhala Buddhist mobs led by monks rioted against Muslims in Kandy.