Pahanthuduwa couple sentenced, fined

By Pamodi Waravita

The couple involved in the shooting of a pornographic video at the Pahanthudawa waterfall were sentenced last Friday (1) to a three-month prison sentence, suspended for seven years, and fined a sum of Rs. 10,800, Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) President Attorney-At-Law Senaka Perera, who provided legal assistance for the couple, told The Morning yesterday (3).

The 34-year-old male suspect and the 24-year-old female suspect were initially arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on 3 September, following the video being heavily shared on social media. They were arrested under the Obscene Publications (Amendment) Act No. 22 of 1983.

Following widespread attention over the incident, 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. However, various quarters of civil society, including Perera, criticised the attention given to this incident, noting that other serious offences are not given due attention by law enforcement authorities.

At the time, the Police also informed certain websites to remove the video clip and warned users to not share it.

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 said obscene matters or things, or to deal in 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.