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Friday, May 23, 2014

Social Media to Come Under Watch in Sri Lanka

Social Media to Come Under Watch in Sri Lanka
Social Media to Come Under Watch in Sri Lanka 
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Lanka intends to take steps to prevent the use of Internet and social media to cause social and political unrest in his country.
“With the spread of cyber crime causing unrest in countries, Sri Lanka wishes to take precautions against such acts,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at Shanghai during his visit.
Earlier, Rajapaksa told the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA): “We witnessed the corrupt use of social media to create domestic unrest and cyber crime. Youth have been targeted and they became pawns of misplaced agendas. These are dangerous trends that need to be arrested and addressed effectively through this forum.”
The fact that Rajapaksa conveyed this to his Chinese counterpart at a meeting in  which the contours of “strategic cooperation” between the two countries were discussed, has given rise to speculation that Lanka may be looking for Chinese assistance to fight “misuse” of the social media. 
Sino-Lankan cooperation seems likely because both countries are under pressure from the Western democracies to improve their human rights record. 

China has the expertise to help Lanka. According to The Atlantic of April 22, 2013, Beijing has set up a “Great Firewall”  under the Ministry of Public Security.
“The  project is a complex system that monitors all levels of information flow within the state and across China’s borders. Its total cost remains a state secret, but the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) was quoted by one of the participating developers, Guangdong Hong’an Group, as saying that the investment had already reached RMB 6.4 billion (USD 770 million) in 2002,” The Atlantic said.


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