Sri Lanka blocks social media platforms after mosques attacked

Vastavam web: Sri Lanka said on Monday it was temporarily blocking some social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, after mosques and Muslim-owned businesses were attacked in the wake of Easter bombings by Islamist militants.

Several dozen people threw stones at mosques and Muslim-owned stores and a man was beaten in the town of Chilaw on the west coast on Sunday in a dispute that started on Facebook, sources told. Authorities said they arrested the author of a Facebook post, identified as 38-year-old Abdul Hameed Mohamed Hasmar, whose online comment “1 day u will cry” locals said was interpreted as threatening violence.

Authorities arrested a group in the nearby areas of Kuliyapitiya and Dummalasuriya later on Sunday and early on Monday for allegedly attacking Muslim-owned businesses, a police source told. Military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said people in the area then demanded the arrested men be released.