Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomats monitor situation as social media platforms blocked in Sri Lanka

Western and Asian diplomats based in Sri Lanka said they were monitoring the situation and expected the government to allow citizens to hold peaceful demonstrations. Sri Lankan soldiers with assault rifles and police manned checkpoints in Colombo on Sunday as the government blocked social media platforms after imposing a curfew to contain public unrest triggered by the country’s economic crisis. The latest restrictions come after the government on Saturday implemented a countrywide curfew as protests against the government’s handling of the economic crisis turned violent. The curfew will run till 6 a.m. (0030 GMT) on Monday. “The social media block is temporary and imposed due to special instructions given by the Defence Ministry. It was imposed in the interests of the country and people to maintain calm,” Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Chairman Jayantha de Silva told Reuters. (https://news.yahoo.com/social-media-platforms-blocked-sri-041054288.html) Internet monitoring organisation NetBlocks said real-time network data showed that Sri Lanka had imposed a nationwide social media blackout, restricting access to platforms including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram as a state of emergency was declared amid widespread protests.

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