Social media ban lifted in Sri Lanka

Social media ban lifted in Sri Lanka
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Authorities in Sri Lanka have ended a temporary nationwide ban on social media platforms following several terrorist attacks that struck the country on Easter Sunday.

The Associated Press reported that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced Tuesday that the ban on Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp as well as with other sites had been lifted, while asking residents to act in a "responsible" manner on the platforms.

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Lifting of the ban came even as the country's health minister, Rajitha Senarathna, said according to the AP that he and other government officials had received word from intelligence agencies that they could possibly be targeted by future attacks from individuals linked to the bombing suspects who are still at large.

It also comes a day after Indian officials reportedly arrested an adherent of Mohammed Zahran, the alleged mastermind of the Easter bombings thought to have been killed during the attacks, who was allegedly planning his own attack in the Indian state of Kerala.

On Monday, authorities in Sri Lanka moved to ban face coverings worn traditionally by Muslim women, a sign that Sri Lanka's government is cracking down on the country's Muslim minority population in the wake of the deadly attacks, which killed more than 250 people.

"President Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators," the government said Monday.

The State Department urged U.S. citizens on Friday to leave the country, warning of the possibility of future attacks.

"Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas," read an advisory on the agency's website.