Sri Lanka to tackle online anti-Muslim hate speech

Military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has asked the law and order ministry to deal with racial and religious hatred being spread using Facebook and Twitter.

Sri Lanka to tackle online anti-Muslim hate speech

World Bulletin / News Desk

On Monday, the Sri Lankan military said that they will clamp down on Internet hate speech following deadly anti-Muslim riots said to have been fueled by social media sites.

Military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has asked the law and order ministry to deal with racial and religious hatred being spread using Facebook and Twitter.

“There are some Facebook pages against Buddhism, but more pages against Islam,” Wanigasooriya told AFP. “Some try to project every Muslim as a jihadist. It is wrong and it must stop.”

The powerful younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, had asked law enforcement authorities to work out a “practical way” of dealing with online hate speech.

At least four people dead and 80 seriously wounded along with hundreds of shops and homes destroyed in the tourist resort towns of Alutgama and Beruwala, two weeks ago during anti-Muslim riots in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka.

Police have arrested eight suspects accused of looting during the riots, along with 55 others who have been linked to the violence.

The hardline Buddhist Force (BBS), who denied instigating attacks agaisnt Muslims, said last week that their social media pages had been blocked by service providers and their websites had been attacked by hackers.

“Our Facebook pages have been taken down,” a BBS spokesman told AFP. “We are also facing cyber-attacks and that is not something new. But we will be up and running soon.”

Sri Lanka’s media as well as rights groups, who make up 10 percent of the country’s 20 million population, have accused the police of failing to prevent extremist Buddhist mobs attacking Muslims.

Muslims as well as moderate Buddhists have pressed for action against the BBS, which is seen as enjoying the patronage of senior government figures.

 

Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2014, 11:05
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