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Tough new laws against porn

2011-10-24 17:30:36
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The Justice Ministry will introduce tough legislation to strictly control the import, distribution, production, exhibiting, telecasting, printing or broadcasting of pornographic material in Sri Lanka, a senior official said today.  

Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said the new Act would be titled, ‘Obscene Publications Act of 2011’.

“There is a sharp increase in the use of pornographic material since the advent of the internet and new technology superhighways. Children are the most affected and child pornography has a huge global market and Sri Lanka is no exception. The new legislation is meant to arrest this alarming trend and protect our children and also to control the unrestricted access by the print and electronic media to be in conformity with our cultural, moral and religious values,” Mr. Gamlath said.

He said the production or making available or offers in any manner or the distribution, transmission or procuring child pornography using a computer system or possesses or retains child pornography in a computer or on a computer data storage medium, or exposes a child to sexually explicit material by means of a computer; shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand rupees and to imprisonment of either description for a term not less than ten years.

Mr. Gamalath said the draft Act still under review was expected to effectively prohibit the publication, exhibition, print, telecast, broadcast or lets on hire or knowingly sells or distributes or in any manner introduces into circulation through any medium of communication – print or electronic – object or thing which is obscene or imports, exports, makes, produces, prints or knowingly transmits, transports or possesses or does any other act whatsoever with regard to any matter object or material which is obscene, for any purpose.

The new Act also prohibits advertising or authorising or permitting the introduction into any medium of communication any advertisement which could be considered obscene. It will also be an offence to employ or obtain the services of a person for an act of obscene or pornographic purpose, he said.

Those who violate the provisions under the new Act shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall, on conviction by the High Court be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and a fine not less than twenty five thousand rupees or both.

In the event of second or subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years or to a fine not less than one hundred thousand rupees or to both such imprisonment and fine.

An offender who uses children for pornographic acts, imports or exports such, produces or distributes such material shall be on conviction by the High Court be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than two years and not exceeding ten years or to a fine not less than Rs.200,000 or both.

In the event of a second or subsequent conviction to imprisonment, the convict is liable for a prison term of 20 years and a fine not less than five hundred thousand rupees.

In the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment for a term not less than two years and not exceeding twenty years and to a fine not less than Rs.500,000.

In case of an offence under Child pornography, the convict is liable to imprisonment of either description for a term not less than three years and not exceeding twenty years or to a fine not less than three hundred thousand rupees or to both such fine and imprisonment and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term not less than three years and not exceeding twenty years and to a fine not less than five hundred thousand rupees.

Any person who contravenes the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand rupees and to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding five years.

The existing Obscene Publications Ordinance will be repealed with the enactment of this Act. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)





  Comments - 7

  • Ruwan Ferdinandez Tuesday, 25 October 2011 05:51

    Draw your line Mr.Secretary. You can make laws against Child pornography but adult pornography is here to stay, whether you make laws or not. Rather spend your energy to put our police service in order. As things stand, unless the police is revamped, whatever the law has no real meaning.

    Reply : 8       90

    Chadima Tuesday, 25 October 2011 07:22

    Legalize the prostitution in Sri Lanka rather than allow it to running it illegally. Our society is already in sexual pressure. There must be a way for theese who need it. We are only Keep trying to control but in other side more rape and molestation cases are happening. So the best legalize the prostitution.

    Reply : 7       56

    vishal samarasekera Tuesday, 25 October 2011 09:46

    A really bad move. When people watch porn they relieve their sexual tension. If they ban porn people will turn to other ways to relieving their tension like raping innocent women or prostitution. And banning adult porn is human rights violation. Prostitution and rape cases will rise if they ban porn.

    Reply : 2       14

    globetrotter Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:54

    Rape, child molestation is rising so rapidly and the government is hell bent on restricting valid avenues for adults to express and relieve their natural sexual frustrations. Protecting children against pornography and violence (often neglected) is paramount. But if an adult can decide to sacrifice his life for the country, to elect whom to lead him, then he can very well decide for himself whether he wants to watch other adults participate in sexual intercourse or not. To think otherwise is tantamount to heresy. Sri Lankan culture has never been sexually repressive culture. Sexual repressive came post Colonialism. It's time for the Justice Ministry to work on actually justice related matters. Key pieces of legislation we need in Sri Lanka are missing, such as Witness Protection, Freedom of Information, Women's Rights and Protection of Minorities through Equal Rights Act and Equal Opportunities Act. These actually affect justice.

    Reply : 3       32

    Kenny G Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:34

    Yeap adults should be given the right to choose what they want. i too stand by this same opinion.

    Reply : 3       17

    Powerless Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:55

    Let there be freedom to all men and women, freedom of speach, expression....

    Government should go after the criminals.

    Reply : 2       22

    THE UNDERTAKER Thursday, 27 October 2011 04:35

    VERY GOOD BUT -STILL RAPES AND OTHER SEXUAL ATTACKS ARE HAPPENING ALMOST EVERYDAY

    Reply : 2       1

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