Photographing obscene activities with mobile phones
Film made from under schoolgirl’s uniform
By Chamitha Kuruppu
Be alert! You could be the next victim of the latest menace in town! Whether you are travelling on public transport, relaxing in a hotel room or answering a nature’s call in office make sure there are no mobile phones around! You could be starring in an ‘x-rated video clip’ sold at Rs. 80 on the pavement.
Filming and photographing obscene activities through mobile phones and selling under an ‘x-rated label’ has become a growing business in the country. The bitter truth about this terrifying story is that the video clips or photographs are mainly used to black mail the victims by their lovers and colleagues. In many instances the video clips and photographs were transferred to other mobile phones or copied to CDs that are sold for Rs.80-Rs.100 on the pavement.
High-end video clips
Talk to ten guys with mobile phones with blue tooth facilities, they will explain everything about the famous Vihara maha devi park clip, Ruhunu campus one or the tuition class video. Then there are high-end video clips such as HSBC, Sri Lankan Airlines and the latest Dialog photographs that were widely circulated through email. (Although these titles have nothing to do with the companies, these video clips and photographs are known by these names). According to the Police the first ever complaint of this nature was lodged in February this year. The victim, a married woman, who was trying to end her extra marital relationship, was black mailed by her paramour. The woman was threatened by her lover several times claiming he will send pictures of them making love, to her husband. Despite the threats the woman ended the affair. A few days later, as promised, her husband received a bunch of photographs. The woman has told the police that her paramour took the pictures using his mobile phone while the two were having sex.
When lovers take revenge on their ex-sweethearts, colleagues at work use their sophisticated mobile phones to destroy the reputation of their fellow competitors. Photographs of a young lady making love with her boyfriend, which were on her own mobile phone, were forwarded to her clients by office colleagues. The pictures were widely circulated via email as well.
A young tele-drama actress who appears in several popular music videos was filmed while undressing in a hotel room with a male partner. In the video clip the actress asks ‘her friend’ whether he is filming but the man smiles and denies but continues to film her undressing using his phone.
If you think it’s only the guys who are upto this kind of cheap mischief, well you are wrong. Video clips as well as photographs of contestants in a dressing room, of the recently held Sirasa Kumariya beauty pageant were passed on from one mobile phone to another with great demand. According to informed sources, the much sought after film was done by a contestant itself, using her mobile phone.
In another instance, a man who was filming his neighbour, a lady bathing by a well was caught and beaten by villagers. The lady considering the social stigma refused to complain to the Police.
Parks and tuition classes seem to be favourite locations for these mobile phone adult film makers. Video clips and photographs of lovers and pretty girls in revealing clothes are found aplenty. It is not only the innocent lovers who cannot afford hotel rooms who are victims of such shameful actions. The high end ladies and gentlemen answering calls of nature in well reputed hotel wash rooms were also filmed using mobile phones and circulated to other phones with much demand. The most awful video clip could be the one taken in a bus, by a man seated, filming from under the uniform of an innocent school girl standing next to him. The video clip suddenly ends when the girl finally notices what the man had been doing.
As innocent girls become victims of sick perverts, young school boys are gradually becoming die hard fans of these easily available ‘local obscene films’. LAKBIMAnEWS learns that a leading boys’ school in Colombo was experiencing long toilet queues during the interval. However, later it was found that the long queues were to enjoy obscene video clips on a mobile phone that would be viewed for a mere Rs.10. Students with mobile phones were earning a good sum of money by selling their ‘film clips’ to other students.
According to the Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Children and Women, the second case against this type of offense was made two weeks ago by an 18-year-old girl in Kurunegala. Just like in previous incidents, her lover had filmed them making love and then black mailed her when she wanted to break up with him. OIC C.I. Balachandran of the Bureau says the police has taken necessary action against the offenders and has filed reports in the High Courts. According to him, if found guilty, the victims will be sentenced to a minimum of seven years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment for ‘Sexual Abuse of Women’. However, according to him, other than the two complaints, the Bureau has not raided any compact discs containing such obscene activities filmed through mobile phones. “We conducted several raids during the past couple of weeks but have not found anything like that,” said the OIC.
Meanwhile, the need to amend the existing anti-pornography law in order to bring filming on mobile phones under control and make it a punishable offense is widely discussed at present.
“The Telecommunications Act 25/96 only deals with frequencies and spectrums,” says Kanchana Ratwatte, Director General of the Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commission (TRC). “The TRC does not have authority to take legal measures against such offenses. But under the general penal code this is a punishable offense,” notes Ratwatte. “But, if required TRC can amend existing laws and attend to misdeeds of this nature provided that we receive the necessary man power and other resources,” he added. Be it amending laws, filing reports or conducting proper raids, some action needs to be taken immediately. If not this thriving business will continue to destroy many more lives of innocent children and women in this country.