22:21 GMT17 February 2020
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    Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation and the latest developments in the security situation, the government is having second thoughts on lifting social media restrictions on Friday. The Sri Lankan president expressed apprehensions on social media rumour-mongering.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Sri Lanka's President Mathripala Sirisena has threatened to put a complete ban on social media if the heads of these social media platforms fail to control rumours that have been circulating since the serial bomb blasts and causing panic in society.

    READ MORE: Sri Lanka's Defence Chief Resigns Over Suicide Bomber Attacks

    "We were planning to lift the social media restriction today. But yesterday there were lot of wrong information shared so we are reconsidering it now. I will meet the heads of these social media platforms today. I may ban it completely if this is not controlled", President Sirisena said, while addressing media on the serial bomb blasts in which some 253 people were killed on Easter Sunday.

    President Sirisena's statement indicated that the Sri Lankan government may decide to shut down social media platforms, including Facebook, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Viber in a bid to stop "false news reports".

    ​Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had earlier appealed to the population to avoid propagating unverified reports and news mingled with unfounded speculations. The government had claimed that the block would be temporary, but remain in place until investigations were concluded.

    READ MORE: Sri Lankan Police Uncover Warehouse With 200 Detonators — Spokesman

    Earlier on Thursday, the government once again requested that media houses report only those materials that are confirmed and provided by the police media spokesperson, spokespersons for the Sri Lankan forces and the Department of Government Information. The government urged the public to not panic when confronted with unverified information from sources that are not credible.


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