While reiterating that the government was behind the suspension of his Facebook page, popular musician Iraj Weeraratne today requested President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene into the matter and to carry out an inquiry into the incident.
Addressing a news briefing, he said that similar thing could happen any user and therefore the President should take immediate action against such suppression of social media.
“I suspect the government is behind the move but I am uncertain as to whether the Government or the President’s Office is behind the move,” he said.
“However, when considering the remarks made by Megapolis Ministry Media Secretary Dhanushka Ramanayake that two persons attached to the Presidential Secretariat were behind the malicious post which stated that he had instructed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to suspend my Facebook page, I have a fair suspicion that the Presidential Secretariat could also be engaged in the move to suppress social media platform in Sri Lanka,” Iraj said.
He said about 1,500 Facebook pages had been removed so far and this indicated that the authorities had curbed the platform for people to express their views and thus violated the freedom of speech.
“I presume the suppression is being done without the knowledge of the President and that’s why we want the President to carry out an inquiry,” he added.
Nevertheless, he said they had used Facebook as a powerful platform to carry out charitable works like cancer projects.
“Besides, we have used Facebook as an effective medium to expose social issues and bring burning issues of the people to the attention of authorities,” he said.
He said they also raised their voice through Facebook urging Minister Sajith Premadasa to look into the Kuragala temple power crisis.
“In addition, we criticized the poster campaign of the incumbent Government. He said he also launched a campaign on Facebook demanding the release of Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera because they were totally against the imprisonment of a prelate in an unjust manner.
“Taking all of these into consideration, I suspect that my Facebook page could have been removed in retaliation to the campaign we carried out against the present Government,” he added.
“I should raise the point here that I have not been engaged in posting or sharing any kind of hates speech on Facebook,” he stressed.
When asked about his future actions on this, Iraj said he would bring this matter to the notice of Facebook headquarters.
Meanwhile, he said it was questionable as to how people like Saharan Hassim carried out their campaigns based on extremism through Facebook without being subject to any suppression. (Sheain Fernandopulle)
What is this man dying for. Another nobody want to be somebody or busybody
Patriot Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:37 PM
Good for nothing characters, do something meaningful to uplift the standard of living in our beautiful country. These guys have their own agendas behind all these media circuses. We all know the standard of the so called musician in this media briefing.. pathetic to say the least..
Arnold Thursday, 11 July 2019 06:09 AM
Tourism is touching zero, tea prices have crumbled, economy is heading for a crisis, and this guy wants President to worry about his FB page, as if he has nothing better to do.
Dumal Thursday, 11 July 2019 09:01 AM
Utah must first read and understand the Facebook user rules. If you violate them you get warned, suspended and eventually deleted. I doubt the president would understand it.
Samare Thursday, 11 July 2019 09:13 AM
It can be the government or it can be Iraj who is making this drama to get political publicly. Let's wait and see.
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