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Sri Lanka lifts social media ban imposed after Easter blasts

By The News · 02 of May 2019 22:37:26
AP Photo,, No available, Soldiers return to their base following an operation searching for explosives and suspects tied to a local group of Islamic State militants in Kalmunai, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 29, 2019. The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka on Monday has urged the government to crack down on Islamic extremists with more vigor "as if on war footing" in the aftermath of the Easter bombings. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president has lifted a nationwide social media ban that was imposed after Easter suicide bomb attacks that killed 253 people.

A government statement Tuesday said that President Maithripala Sirisena has lifted the ban that blocked Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and other popular sites. It asked the public to “act in a responsible manner” on social media.

The government said it blocked social media in the wake of the bombings at churches and luxury hotels to curb the spread of misinformation.

The move comes a day after the Islamic State group’s shadowy leader claimed to appear for the first time in five years in video released by the extremist group’s propaganda arm. He claimed the bombings in Sri Lanka were “part of the revenge” that awaits the West.