Social Media Blocked in Sri Lanka Amid Mass Protests

The Sri Lankan government blocked social media platforms on Sunday after imposing a curfew to control public unrest amid the country’s economic crisis.

The latest restrictions came after the government implemented a nationwide curfew as protests against the government’s handling of the economic crisis became violent on Saturday.

Jayantha de Silva, the Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, said that the social media block is temporary due to the ‘special’ instruction that the Defense Ministry imposed. 

“It was imposed in the interests of the country and people to maintain calm,” de Silva said.

Namal Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Youth and Sports and the nephew of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said that he ‘would never condone the blocking of social media’.

“The availability of VPN, just like I’m using now, makes such bans completely useless. I urge the authorities to think more progressively and reconsider this decision,” Namal said in a tweet.

President Rajapaksa announced a state of emergency on Friday, raising concerns of a crackdown on protests as the country grapples with rising prices, shortages of essentials, and rolling power outages.

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