From banning social media to raiding mosques, Sri Lankan government has taken massive steps after Sunday Easter churches attack.
Colombo: Sri Lankan government has started a massive crackdown on top security officers. This is an unprecedented step taken by a country which has seen the worst kind of terrorism in past. But that is not the only step which has been taken by the government. From banning social media to raiding mosques, the Sri Lankan government has taken massive steps after Sunday Easter churches attack.
Crackdown on security forces officers
According to the reports, President Maithripala Sirisena has asked defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara to resign from their posts after international media reported that security forces ignored intelligence alerts suspecting a terror strikes in Sri Lanka. Interestingly, India also warned Sri Lankan security forces hours before the series of bomb blast but the Sri Lankans failed to act.
Crackdown on Mosque
Similarly, the government is also raiding some mosque that is allegedly helping the terrorists in detonating the blast and Muslims in Sri Lanka are also helping the government to identify insiders who helped the terrorists plan and implement churches attacks. Total of 60 suspects have been picked from different locations, mainly mosques. The government has given extra powers to the police, who can arrest and search anyone anywhere without court orders. A report by Washington Post claimed that " In Colombo, Muslims have formed ad hoc neighbourhood watch committees, checking for unfamiliar vehicles and visitors."
Emergency regulations implementation
According to a media report, the emergency regulations allow the security forces to take measures for the “suppression of mutiny, riot or civil commotion, or for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.” The essential services clause has in the past been used to ban strikes and other industrial action. "Under the state of emergency, the military is granted police powers, including the “detention of persons; the taking of possession or control of any property or undertaking without a warrant.” The regulations allow for the lengthy detention of so-called terrorist suspects without charge or the trial," a report of local media says.
Ban on social media
The Sri Lankan government put a nationwide ban on social media, including Facebook and YouTube, censoring what is a widely-used and popular form of communication. "As of last October, Sri Lanka had 23 million mobile phone users, 6.4 million internet users and five million on Facebook. The across-the-board crackdown reflects deep fears in ruling circles in Sri Lanka and internationally that social media is a powerful tool not only for disseminating ideas but for organising collective action," a media report of a local news website claims.
Last Updated 5:55 PM IST