The Sri Lankan government on Monday temporarily blocked some social media networking and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, after a mosque was attacked in Chilaw weeks after the Easter Sunday bombings, Reuters reported.
The government’s Information Department said the measure was taken due to the false propaganda circulating on social media and unrest reported in several areas on Sunday, according to adaderana.lk.
Police imposed a curfew in the Chilaw, Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, and Dummalasuriya police divisions to control the situation. The curfew in Chilaw was lifted at 4 am on Monday, while it lasted until 6 am in the other three areas.
The curfew in Chilaw, a Christian-dominated town, was imposed after a mosque and a few shops owned by Muslims were attacked by a mob, according to Reuters. Several people had thrown stones at mosques and Muslim-owned stores, while a man was reportedly beaten after a dispute that started on Facebook.
A group of suicide bombers had carried out a series of blasts at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 253 people. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Two other local Islamist groups – the National Thowheed Jamath and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim – are suspected to have links to the blasts. They have now been banned.