The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) affiliated Socialist Youth Union (SYU) said Facebook should not be banned or restricted as it could not be blamed for the recent suicides.
SYU national organiser and former JVP parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake told a news conference that several government officials including ministers had in various statements hinted of plans to ban Facebook, the very popular social media network.
He was referring to a statement made by Childcare and Women’s Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda that strict laws would be introduced to deal with those who misuse Facebook and also to a statement made by Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on placing restrictions on the use of Facebook.
“Boys and girls are known to have committed suicide as a result of illicit love affairs long before Facebook came into existence,” Mr. Ratnayake said and added that suicide had become a major social problem in Sri Lanka with the country having the second largest suicide rate when it came to young women.
He said 80,000 youth are reported to have attempted suicide in Sri Lanka annually while 400,000 think of it as an option according to the World Organization for Preventing Suicides.
Mr. Ratnayake said there should be organisations with trained people to deal with social issues while Facebook itself could be used to overcome these issues.
“Facebook will not be a problem if it is used in a proper manner for good purposes,” he added.(YP & DS)