STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

We respect Sri Lanka's national security but also support freedom of expression: US

Sri Lanka witnessed anti-Muslim riots in Kandy, in which several homes, businesses and mosques were damaged during three days of violence.

Published: 08th March 2018 02:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2018 02:59 PM   |  A+A-

Sri_Lanka_Violence1_AP

Sri Lanka's army soldiers and police personnel stand near a vandalized building in Digana, a suburb of Kandy. | AP

By PTI

WASHINGTON: The United States today said it respects Sri Lanka's national security, but asked Colombo to ensure the freedom of expression of its citizens.

The Indian Ocean island nation has witnessed anti-Muslim riots in Kandy, in which several homes, businesses and mosques were damaged during three days of violence.

The violence erupted after the death of a man from the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority last week.

To rein in communal violence, a state of emergency has been imposed by the President Maithripala Sirisena government.

Internet access was also restricted in Kandy and social media websites including Facebook and instant messaging app Whatsapp blocked.

"While we respect Sri Lanka's national security, the US supports an open, reliable and secure Internet where the rights that all persons have offline are also protected online, such as freedom of expression," a State Department spokesperson told PTI.

"The United States values freedom of expression and access to information as a key component of democratic governance," the spokesperson said while responding to a question on blocking of social media sites and imposition of emergency in Sri Lanka.

Earlier, the US Embassy in Colombo said it is important that the Government of Sri Lanka act quickly against perpetrators of sectarian violence, protect religious minorities and their places of worship, and conclude the State of Emergency swiftly, while protecting human rights and basic freedoms for all.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp