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No need to extend emergency: Sri Lankan Law and Order Minister

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a three-member commission to probe the communal clashes in Kandy

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

sri lanka violence, sri lanka emergency, sri lanka
Sri Lanka's army soldiers remove the debris of a vandalized building in Digana, a suburb of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Photo: PTI

The is unlikely to extend the 10-day nationwide imposed after communal riots erupted in district, as no fresh incidents of violence has been reported from anywhere in the country, the new Law and Order has said.

Communal violence broke out in the country's scenic district following the death of a man from the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority, resulting in the death of two persons and damage to several homes, businesses and mosques.

has appointed a three-member commission to probe the communal clashes in

He had declared a nationwide on March 6 and deployed the police and military to prevent escalation of violence after clashes between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims erupted in other areas of the central riot-hit district.

Ranjith Maddumabandara said he thinks it was not necessary to continue the any further.

"I had a discussion with the of Police and senior police officers this morning to assess the current security situation in the country.

"We are of the view that the country's security situation is normal right now and therefore, the extending of the 'state of emergency' which will expire on Thursday (March 15) will not be necessary," Maddumabandara was quoted as saying by

He also said he discussed the possibility of lifting the temporary ban on social media, including Facebook, with the police.

The government had restricted the use of social media, including Facebook, and social messaging app, after police claimed that they were being used to spread hatred against the minority community.

"A decision in this regard would be taken soon but the final decision, however, will be taken on both issues after returns from his official visit to Japan," the said.

Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure has also said that the restrictions on platforms including Facebook, Viber, and Imo will most probably be lifted within few days.

"The (TRC) was in discussion with the service provider about filtering social media," he was quoted as saying by

In response to the government's ban, has said it is in contact with the and non-governmental organisations to support efforts to identify and remove hate speech from its platform.

"We have clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence and work hard to keep it off our platform. We are responding to the situation in and are in contact with the government and non-governmental organisations to support efforts to identify and remove such content," the has said in an email to the CNBC.

It said the ban in came after several years in which critics have said Facebook and the government were not doing enough to prevent the spread of such harmful posts.

Meanwhile, said that the situation in was calm and quiet.

"Though the situation was normal, but the police would not relax its in Kandy in particular," he said, addingh that 3,000 police and 750 STF personnel had been deployed in the riot-hit district.

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 15:50 IST
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