Restrictions placed on the social media platform, Whatsapp was removed as of midnight yesterday (14), Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRCSL) Chairman and Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando said.

The Whatsapp messaging service was partially restricted with the sharing of multimedia, videos and calls being banned on the platform since March 7.

The President’s Media Division (PMD) in a statement said that in the last few days social media had been used to promote racial tensions and violence across the country and that the government had implemented the ban on many social media platforms as a temporary measure to control the situation.

The President who is currently on a tour of Japan had studied the current security situation in the country and had instructed his Secretary to remove the ban on Viber having taken the necessary security control measures on Tuesday night. The President however had also noted that there needed to be a regulatory mechanism to prevent the spread of racism, hate speech and slander through social media platforms.

A meeting has been called with Facebook representatives at the Presidential Secretariat today (15) under the leadership of the TRCSL Chairman.The government, the PMD stated, is taking every action to remove the Facebook and other social media platform blockades after they agree on the necessary control measures.

Facebook and Instagram at present continue to have the ban imposed on them.


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