A day after their loss to Sri Lanka in the first T20, Indian team woke up to a minor inconvenience in Colombo — they couldn’t use social media websites like Facebook and Whatsapp as the Sri Lankan government had blocked them for three days to stop the spread of tensions between the religious communities.
The government on Wednesday had imposed a state of emergency to end the violence that has erupted between Buddhists and the Muslim minority. On Wednesday, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that government has asked service providers to block social messaging networks after posts appeared on Facebook calling for attacks on Muslims.
The Indian players not only use the services of Whatapp but are also pretty active on different social media websites.
“I can see whatapp messages coming but I can’t read it. I can’t make calls also. It’s frustrating. Late in the evening it was coming and going, and quite unstable,” a member traveling with the Indian team said.
The Indian team had an off day from training on Thursday, and spent the entire afternoon at the hotel, with a dinner planned for late night. “On the directive of TRCSL in the interest of national security, access to certain Social Media sites and Messaging platforms will be restricted with immediate effect until further notice,” a text message from the leading telephone operator Dialog stated.
“Put down your smart phones, let go of your hate and help make a new Sri Lanka that is good for everyone,” the telecommunications minister Harin Fernando said.
“I don’t need to remind the young people of this country that hate, violence and discrimination robbed you of a life full of opportunity and a country full of prosperity. Do not make the mistakes of our past generations.”