Sri Lanka Police reportedly arrested four students in connection with posting of a series of violent viral videos where young children were making threats to one another, on social media platforms, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said.
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and Police have launched investigations into the series of videos posted by school-aged children spreading violence. The videos posted have gone viral on Facebook and TikTok platforms for the last few days, local media reported.
Police Criminal Investigations Department’s Social Media Investigation Unit has also begun investigations into the series of videos.
The Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority, Professor Muditha Vidanapathirana told media that an investigation was launched on Wednesday, and measures were taken to inform the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) to block the streaming of the videos.
The children featuring in the videos have been identified to be residents of Polonnaruwa and Nikaweratiya areas and the regional officers of the NCPA had visited the residences of these underage children to understand their behavior and their psychological state, the NCPA Chairman said.
Observations by various parties in this regard have revealed that the manipulation and incitement by some adults have promoted the activity.
About four young children appearing under “Sellakkara Maliya” , Nadeera Max” and various nicknames have released their videos into the social media through internet. They are mostly circulating on Facebook and YouTube. The videos showing the children threatening each other with sharp weapons have become a sensation in local social media circles. Reportedly some Facebook and YouTube users have been trying to recreate the videos and create a new wave.
A group of journalists and child rights activists have sent a letter to the Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority informing them of the activities and warned that if this is allowed further these children can become dangerous criminals in the future.
Following a series of complaints and observations, a team from the Criminal Investigation Department’s Social Media Investigation Unit arrived at the home of a child in the Pannala area this afternoon. It has been revealed that the child had bought a mobile phone despite the objection of his parents. After receiving statements about the incident, the child was taken to the CID for further investigations.
In an announcement on the incident, the Sri Lanka Information Technology Institute (ICTA) says that parents should pay attention when allowing young children to use the Internet. According to the Institute, some children are being abused by the Internet and social media as children are being subjected to the online teaching process these days. The Sri Lanka Information Technology Association (SLTECO) says that the video clip added to the internet has the potential for others to imitate the children. Meanwhile DIG Ajith Rohana said that those who are responsible for posting videos that solicit children towards violence will also be punished by law with a minimum imprisonment of 10 years.