Sri Lanka bans government employees from using social media

29 September, 2022
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Sri Lanka bans government employees from using social media

Sri Lanka on Wednesday ordered its government employees not to express their opinions on social media, after some officials alleged that schoolchildren were fainting due to lack of food due to the severe economic crisis in the country.


In a new decision directed at 1.5 million government employees, the Ministry of Public Administration said the long-standing ban on speaking to reporters now includes social media posts.


The decision stated that "expressing an opinion on social media by a public official (...) constitutes a violation that leads to disciplinary action."


The decision came in the wake of allegations by health officials and teachers that dozens of students had fainted in schools due to lack of food.


Sri Lanka's population of 22 million people since late 2021 is suffering from the worst economic crisis in the country, after the government ran out of foreign currency to import basic materials. This led to unofficial inflation rates that put Sri Lanka second after Zimbabwe, as well as protests that toppled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July.


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