Home / Front Page/ JHU joins call to lift social media ban

JHU joins call to lift social media ban

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:00


  • Asserts Police are duty bound to reveal political elements behind riots in Kandy
  • Calls for greater transparency of investigations to reassure public  
  • Insists stronger engagement by law enforcement needed to rebuild inter-communal harmony

Skandha Gunasekara

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday became the latest party to call for the lifting of the social media ban, pointing out the time for such extreme measures was past, but urged law enforcement authorities to be transparent in their investigations and reassure the public that their concerns over the need to crack down on extremists were being heeded.  

“We agree with the Government’s initial decision to block social media sites. India blocked various telecommunication services, particularly SMS, to stop Hindu-Muslim riots after the bombing in Pune. In extreme circumstances such extreme measures must be taken,” Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka, who is also the JHU General Secretary, told reporters. 

However, the Minister urged the Government to lift the ban as the unrest had settled.

“Now that the chaos has subsided and the situation has normalised, the block should be lifted. Nevertheless, the Government must take stringent measures to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.” 

He then called on the Police to provide information on its investigations as soon as possible, insisting that greater engagement and transparency was essential to rebuild inter-communal harmony and restore faith in law enforcement authorities. 

During the worst communal clashes since Aluthgama in 2014, about 465 houses, shops and businesses had been torched and vandalised by marauding mobs in the Kandy District, according to the Police. Allegations of Police and STF standing by while attacks took place had been reported during the last week, though this was officially denied by Police.         

“We urge the Police to reveal the identities of those who have been arrested in connect with the riots. They must also reveal any links between these extremist groups and politicians. They must dispel all rumours and gossip making the people more suspicious. The media is going to town with various baseless allegations making the situation worse. The Police have a responsibility to make a disclosure about their findings regarding those who orchestrated these riots and reassure the public,” the Minister said. 

Referring to the rise in extremists groups such as the Mahason Balakaya, the Minister said that these movements were being used as political tools. 

“Authorities must probe and find out the political elements behind the communal unrest being caused. These culprits are using it to further their political careers.” 

The Minister insisted that he believed the Opposition was behind the attacks but did not mention a specific party during his statements.  

“We clearly say that those behind the Teldeniya and Digana incidents have direct links to members of Opposition political parties. The Police must investigate and identify the culprits.”

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Reaping relevant results: Reflections on ‘Mind before Action’

Monday, 17 December 2018

The recent political turbulence that shattered the prestige edifices of governance proved several fundamental points. For me, one such is the need to have holistic thinking with emphasis on far reaching implications before taking a crucial decision.

The quality of some justice

Monday, 17 December 2018

We must, if we are rational beings and not mindless beasts, treat the herd instinct with due vigour. In the week before the Incarnation of the Son of God, a Son of the Soil seems fit for Crucifixion. The UNP’s sleek bloodhounds, some crossover SLFP

JVP’s task ahead

Monday, 17 December 2018

Ranil Wickremesinghe has reclaimed his Prime Ministership, not because he deserved it but because of President Sirisena’s impulsive irrationality driven by hunger for power and because of a determined commitment by JVP, TNA and Muslim parliamentari

If the new regime fails to uphold democratic good governance, society will bark loud and bite

Monday, 17 December 2018

Let the leaders of the new regime clearly realise that the civil society and citizen voters are watching with eyes open, ears attentive, and minds alert, and the body ready to spring into mindful strategic action to establish whether the much hard-fo

Columnists More