Scorned

November 9, 2010 (AFP) – Newspaper editors in Sri Lanka on Tuesday 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.”

The police won court permission last week to release the images and seek public help to identify and question those pictured over possible violations of obscenity laws.

The men and women face up to six months jail or a fine of 10,000 rupees (90 dollars), or both if convicted of violating obscenity laws, police say. All national dailies refused to print the photographs except for the Lakbima Sinhalese newspaper, whic