The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has written to Austin Fernando, Secretary to the President, pointing out that ‘any future policy regarding the regulation of social media to deal with hate speech must strike a balance so that freedom of expression and the right to information are restricted only within the legal limits.’
The HRCSL, through its Chairperson Dr Deepika Udugama also stated that the organization had received several complaints from the public regarding restrictions on social media ‘even after the violence in the Kandy District was brought under control.’
The Government blocked access to several social media platforms including Facebook. Viber and WhatsApp after violence broke out in Digana and Teldeniya. Repeated requests for a lifting of restrictions from local and diplomatic quarters fell on deaf years Viber and WhatsApp were ‘freed’, Facebook access was restored this afternoon.