A Sri Lankan magistrate has ordered police to publish photographs of 83 local pornography actors in a bid to identify and arrest them
for violating obscenity laws, officials said.
Police told Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that the men and women featured on 180 Sri Lankan pornographic websites that have been blocked by telecommunications regulators.
We now have a court order to publish the photographs in the national press and seek public assistance to identify and arrest them, a police officer said, declining to be named.
He said the actors faced up to six months jail or a fine of 10,000 rupees (90 dollars), or both, if convicted.
Update: Request Refused
12th November 2010. Based on article
Newspaper editors in Sri Lanka refused to publish pictures of men and women who are wanted by police for appearing on porn websites in the country.
Under a crackdown on pornography on the Indian Ocean island, police are trying to trace local men and women pictured in compromising poses and had asked newspapers to reproduce mugshots of 83 of them.
We were given the photos with a request to publish them, but we decided not to, said Siri Ranasinghe, chief editor of the mass circulating Sinhalese daily, the Lankadeepa: It is a question of privacy. We don't know who these people are
and under what circumstances the police got these pictures. Technology can be used to manipulate pictures, so we decided to leave them out.
All national dailies refused to print the photographs except for the Lakbima Sinhalese newspaper, which published the mugshots at the bottom of page two, without any reference to the allegations against them.
Update: Poor Response
24th November 2010. Based on article
The Police will now release to the police stations the pictures of the locals who acted in these films to trace them. This is in contrast to the previous plan to give maximum publicity, through the media, to the pictures of the locals and get
help to identify them.
However, only one newspaper had published the pictures. Police said they had obtained a court order to publish the pictures, but were unable to confirm whether the pictures were doctored or not.
Police had been able to track down only three persons from some 83 pictures which had been released to the media. The three persons were released on bail after being produced in court.
Update: 7 Police Victims Arrested
3rd December 2010. See article
Sri Lankan police have arrested and bailed seven people accused of appearing in pornographic films. Police said the seven had to make statements and pay a surety before being released.
The suspects face up to six months in jail or a fine of 10,000 rupees ($89.75), or both, if convicted. The suspects were allegedly identified by photos obtained by the police from the now banned local porn web sites.
The Sri Lankan media has reported that some of the pictures released by police were in fact from private videos released by estranged lovers, while some appeared to have been secretly shot with hidden cameras.