Freddie Gamage of the Professional Web Journalists’ Association said the government could have used existing laws to prevent spreading of hate speech and punished those instigating violence, instead of blocking social media। Sri Lankan activists and journalists are demanding the government end a weeklong shutdown of several social media sites now that anti-Muslim violence in the island’s central hills has eased। Sri Lanka has long had a bitter ethnic divide between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils that led to a civil war killing tens of thousands of people। Lawyer and activist Praboda Rathnayaka said those spreading hate speech could be arrested under existing law and that blocking social media posed a grave threat to the peoples’ right to freedom of expression। The government imposed a state of emergency last week and blocked Facebook, WhatsApp and other sites to stop rumors from spreading after Buddhist mobs swept through towns and villages, burning Muslim homes and businesses।

For Detail Setopati