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The culture vultures

world Updated: Aug 05, 2009 00:42 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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Dissident opinion and pornography on the Internet are not the same things usually. But in Sri Lanka both are likely to get the same treatment — blocked by the government’s caring hands.

For much of the war with the LTTE, the authorities here had banned any dissident on the Internet. Now they have turned their powers to proscribe to sites on the net with pornographic content.

For starters, 12 sites have been logged out. (It’s a separate issue that all of them could be accessed by proxy servers.)

Cultural Affairs Ministry secretary GLW Samarasinghe, was quoted as saying these measures were being adapted to “improve culture”.’

Samarasinghe said laws would be introduced soon to allow the Public Performances Board to censor films, advertisements and other media material with sex, alcohol or drug content.These moves are part of the Mahinda Chinthana, with its noble promises to make Sri Lanka free of alcohol, tobacco and drugs by 2015.

But the move is facing criticism and opposition from several quarters.