COLOMBO: Facebook will remain blocked in Sri Lanka until it agrees to take quicker action over incendiary material, authorities said Tuesday (Mar 13), after the social network was banned across the island during a week of violent riots.
The block was imposed after police warned that online hate speech was whipping up anti-Muslim anger in last week's unrest, which saw mosques and Muslim businesses burned, mainly in central Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's government declared a state of emergency and deployed the army to the riot-plagued region to contain the crisis that left at least three people dead.
Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando said Tuesday that the government wanted assurances Facebook could respond more rapidly in future if similar concerns were raised.
"Facebook has told us that they lack the resources to review our complaints," he told reporters in Colombo.
"They had a practical problem. They had only two resource persons" to review content in Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka's majority ethnic group behind the violence.