Lankan police publishes pics of ‘porn stars’ | world | Hindustan Times
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Lankan police publishes pics of ‘porn stars’

The Sri Lankan police have published photographs in Lakbima, a local Sinhala-language newspaper of dozens of people accused of being actors in pornographic films. Sutirtho Patranobis reports from Colombo.

world Updated: Nov 10, 2010 23:43 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Sri Lankan police have published photographs in a local newspaper of dozens of people accused of being actors in pornographic films.

The police said the photographs were published following a court order and was part of a crackdown against the proliferation of locally-made pornographic films widely available in shops and also on the Internet.

Lakbima, a Sinhala-language newspaper published an installment of the photographs.

On November 4, a Colombo court directed the police headquarters to publicise 83 faces of alleged ``Sri Lankan porn stars’’ in the media so that it would be easier for the police to trace and track them down.

Once tracked down, they could then charged with violating obscenity laws and could be jailed for six months. The photos, according to reports, were obtained from websites.

But publishing such photographs could be termed as controversial as some of those allegedly part of those film rackets could be victims of sex rackets themselves.

A civil rights lawyer, Rohan Edrisinha told the BBC that he believed some of those involved might be under-age girls, who should be viewed as ``victims’’ rather than ``voluntary participants.’’ He added that the publication of the photos would have negative implications for privacy and civil liberties.

In a related move, the Women and Children’s Bureau of the police department has identified 50 websites containing children-related pornographic material. A report was being compiled to ensure that these sites were blocked. Reports said that till now about 100 websites had been blocked with the help of telecom regulatory authority.

Liberal social norms have co-existed with conservative societal strains in Buddhist- majority Sri Lanka for years. But the government has for the last few months targeted the internet to block out sexually-explicit material as it feels that such material could vitiate the younger generation.

In March, Sri Lanka refused a visa to rapper Akon to perform in Colombo after Buddhists protested over a video where he is shown dancing along with scantily-clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue.

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