Banning Facebook in Sri Lanka?


I am sure all “Facebookers” out there are deeply saddened by the rumors going round regarding the ban of Facebook!

Facebook, the world renowned social media network, recently caught the public’s serious attention in Sri Lanka due to two fatal incidents that involved the suicide of two young girls after uploading photos to the social network. Taking a quick recap through the two incidents, the first incident was reported on the 6th of February 2014 when a 16 year old girl of a school in Kurunegala committed suicide by hanging herself after being reprimanded by the Principal of her school for having uploaded photos of her in the company of her lover. Although the girl tried to explain that it was not her who uploaded them and that it was a friend of hers who had tagged her in the photos, the Principal was inconceivable as he lacked the competent knowledge of technology.

The second incident took place on the 19th of February 2014 when a 19 year old girl from Elpitiya had committed suicide also by hanging herself. The reason for her suicide, the Police believe is that she had used the image of a different girl as her picture on her Facebook profile. The girl, through her Facebook profile, had established an affair with a young boy from Ja-Ela and it had been going on for around 6 months. According to the Police, the girl had committed suicide after the boy had visited her house, to find that, the girl whom he had seen on Facebook wasn’t the girl he had been in a relationship with.

Moving onto the issue at hand, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had spoken against Facebook at a function held at a Panadura school on the 9th of February. He said, “This is a disease for us, this is a disease for our children”. However he also added that banning the site would be illegal. Meanwhile, in response to a question by opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Dinesh Gunwardena said that the government had taken no decision to ban the network.