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

The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation

Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc

The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Friday, 21 September 2018

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet

Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the

Columnists More