The Sri Lankan government is to end the restriction on Viber tonight, the Director General of Government Information Sudarshana Gunawardana said in a statement, amid rising pressure to end the social media ban.
Yesterday the US ambassador to Colombo, Atul Keshap tweeted:
"The longer the #SriLanka #SocialMediaBan persists, the greater the damage to tourism, the IT sector, business, and the nation's reputation for freedom and openness. So many Sri Lankans also rely on #socialmedia to connect with loved ones overseas."
In a statement Mr Gunawardana was quoted by Ada Derana as sainy: "the government has considered the difficulties faced by Sri Lankan migrant workers when communicating with loved ones back home due to the blocking of social media and messaging platforms as well as the affect it has on the business community, foreign tourists and small scale entrepreneurs it he past couple of days. After considering these issues, the government decided to lift the restrictions imposed on the Viber messaging application from midnight today as a preliminary step."
Minister Harin Fernando said the restrictions on other social media such as Facebook would be lifted this Friday, the paper reported.