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Sri Lanka's Government Plans to Block Social Networks Amid Unrest - Reports

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Social media - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Sri Lankan authorities intend to block for three days popular social networks in the country, namely Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp messenger, in order to curb hate speech on the Internet related to the unrest in the country, Lanka Business Online news portal reported on Wednesday, citing officials.

According to the Lanka Business Online news portal, citing Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne, the government decided to block certain social networks, while the country's telecommunications watchdog had already started to monitor them for detecting hate speech.

The watchdog restricted Internet access in the country's Kandy district which witnessed intense clashes, according to the media outlet.

"The director general (of TRC) will inform all the subscribers about blocking Facebook, Viber, and Whatsapp for 72 hours," a Sri Lanka's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) official said.

READ MORE: Sri Lanka Declares 10-Day State of Emergency Amid Sectarian Clashes — Reports

Tensions between Buddhists and minority Muslims have escalated in Sri Lanka in recent days. On Monday, the Sri Lankan government declared a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days amid sectarian clashes. Curfew was also imposed in several districts, while classes at schools were canceled.

Muslims comprise just 10 percent of Sri Lanka's population and Buddhist Sinhalese 75 percent. The previous state of emergency, which had been in place in the country for nearly three decades, was lifted in 2011, following the end of the civil war and the government’s victory over Tamil Tiger rebels.

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