Sri Lanka blocks social media in attempt to quell protests
A worsening economic crisis has prompted nationwide protests.
After declaring a public emergency two days ago over protests, Sri Lanka is now cutting off social media access over protests in the country.
The protests are due to the country's worst economic crisis since its independence, which has paralyzed Colombo's ability to provide the citizens with electricity and even hit the healthcare sector really hard.
Internet providers were ordered by Defense officials to shut down access to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp.
Ada Derana quoted Sri Lanka's media regulator as saying, "On the request of the defence ministry, service providers advised to temporarily restrict social media platforms."
The police arrested 53 people and imposed a curfew in and around Colombo on Friday in a bid to discourage civilians from taking to the street as they were protesting over the shortage of essential items and goods, including fuel and foodstuffs.
The Sri Lankan people are facing shortages and soaring inflation after the government devalued its currency ahead of talks with the IMF for a loan.
Many refused orders of a curfew on Saturday and little demonstrations erupted before being dispersed.
Anti-government hashtags '#GoHomeRajapaksas' and '#GotaGoHome' have been trending for days on Twitter and Facebook after the severe shortage of essential goods and the spike in prices.
Earlier, the country canceled exams for millions of school students as the country ran out of printing paper with the country's capital, Colombo, running short on dollars, thus failing to finance imports, officials announced.
Empty diesel pumps have sparked protests at stations, and electricity utilities have imposed 13-hour blackouts to conserve fuel.