News

Pahanthudawa waterfall clip: Couple arrested; police warn ‘sharers’

 

  • Websites told to take down clip
  • Arrests under ‘Obscene’ Publications Law

 

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

The Police have arrested a man and a woman who were seen in a video clip shot near the Pahanthudawa waterfall in the Belihuloya area in Balangoda under the Obscene Publications (Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 1983, and warned that people who share the clip would also be punished.

Speaking to The Morning, Police Media Spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nihal Thalduwa said that the duo in question hails from the Maharagama and Pannipitiya areas.

Furthermore, he said certain websites have been informed by the law enforcement authorities to remove the video clip. The Police suspect that the video, which has gone viral on social media platforms, had been recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The video had gone viral after it had been shared by another party online.

Speaking to The Morning, SSP Thalduwa said that he had drawn his attention in this regard a few days back and had subsequently brought the matter to the notice of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Computer Crimes Division (CCD) regarding the incident, and had requested that an investigation be conducted in this regard.

“The CCD will conduct further investigations into this clip which was widely circulated in social media.”

Buddhist monk Ven. Passaramulle Dayawansha Thera has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to take strict legal action against this incident, highlighting that this would create a bad image for the tourism industry.

Section 2 (a) of the Obscene Publications Ordinance as amended holds that it is an offence for the purposes of or by way of trade or for distribution or public exhibition, to make or produce or have in possession, obscene cinematograph films, while Section 2 (c) of the same holds that to carry on or take part in a business, whether public or private, concerned with any of the said obscene matters or things, or to deal in the said matters or things in any manner whatsoever, or to distribute them, or to exhibit them publicly, or to make a business of lending them is also an offence. Further, according to Section 2 (d) of the law, to advertise or make known by any means whatsoever, in view of assisting in the said punishable circulation or traffic, that a person is engaged in any of the above punishable acts, or to advertise or to make known how or from whom the said obscene matters or things can be procured, either directly or indirectly, is also an offence. Upon conviction by a magistrate, these offences carry a maximum fine of Rs. 2,500 and/or a maximum term of imprisonment of 6 months for the first conviction while subsequent convictions will carry the same prison sentence and a maximum fine of Rs. 5,000.