Thursday, 11 November 2010

83 Sri Lankan's explicit photographs made public in police attack despite editors' refusals to publish

By J.A. Fernando
Sri Lankan Police Flag
Colombo, 10 November, (
Despite leading newspaper’s refusing to publish the porn star photographs, Sri Lankan Police has issued 83 porn star images yesterday to all media organizations in the country with a view of seeking help from public to take them into custody. Among those images there are 81 of women and 4 men’s images.
Asian Tribune earlier on November 6th published 11 porn star pictures which are supposed to be taken from local porn websites.
However, all national dailies had refused to print the photographs except for the Lakbima Sinhalese newspaper, which published the 27 porn star mugshots at the bottom of page two on Tuesday, without any reference to the accusations against them.
Meanwhile the country’s largely circulated daily newspaper has also refused publication of these pictures according to AFP.
"We were given the photos with a request to publish them, but we decided not to," Chief Editor of the mass circulating Sinhalese daily, the Lankadeepa, Siri Ranasinghe reported to have said to AFP adding that it is a question of privacy of people and that no one doesn’t know who these people are and under what circumstances the police got the pictures.
“Technology can be used to manipulate pictures, so we decided to leave them out." Mr.Ranasinghe reported to have said to media.
AFP reported that the government has also ordered the removal of bill boards featuring scantily-clad women and launched a campaign to discourage the use of alcohol and tobacco in conservative Sri Lanka.
Authorities say the wanted individuals were found portrayed on 180 Sri Lankan pornographic websites that have since been blocked by telecommunications regulators.
The Police Women and Children's Bureau had issued these pictures in line with its earlier announcement of publishing the photographs of those who had posed on local porn websites, according to an order by the Colombo High Court.
The police department say that punishments in relation to porn should be made harsher where as the current laws in Sri Lanka are too little. In Sri Lanka the Obscene Publications Ordinance of 1983 clearly states that, anyone involved in distributing, exhibiting or advertising obscene matter, can be fined Rs. 10,000 and leads to face a three month imprisonment.
The Sri Lankan police are banning at least 100 porn websites on a weekly basis according to reports.
However, many other porn sites featuring non-Sri Lankans remain still available according to analysts.

[RAP: This a perverted attack on the civil liberties of every one of the people in these photographs, that will likely destroy lives and families. A number of the people in the photographs appear to be close to or below the meaningful age of consent and coercion cannot be ruled out in any of them. As such it is very likely that some of the people pictured are victims of crime and the police in Sri Lanka have forced and facilitated the publishing of photographs of those victims of crime and the crime scenes.

The so-called mug shots or "porn star" photos appear to have been taken in a much more amateurish setting, some of them it would seem, have been taken by adults engaging in mutually consensual sex and were for private use not publication. It is probable that some of the people in the photographs will not be aware that their photographs are in the public domain.

RAP hopes the people in the photographs are not found by the police and if they are they will find the support they need in their communities.

The editors who refused to publish the photographs are to be commended and the police and the editors who published them in their misguided, myopic and misanthropic campaign deserve the contempt of their communities.]

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