Youth arrested over ‘semi-naked’ photos at Pidurangala remanded

The three youths, arrested for allegedly taking semi-naked photographs on top of the Pidurangala rock, have been remanded until October 03 after being produced at the Dambulla Magistrate’s Court.

Sri Lankan police yesterday arrested three youths part of a group
who took a photo of themselves posing indecently at the sacred Buddhist site on grounds of insensitivity.

They reportedly posted images to social media of themselves at Pidurangala Rock, a 200 metre tall, hard-to-climb rock formation popular among hikers.

The arrests reportedly came after a formal complaint by a Buddhist monk, who said the photo was a religious insult.

Ven. Dr. Danegama Ananda Thero of the Pidurangala Raja Maha Vihara had lodged a complaint with the Sigiriya Police Station.

Accordingly, police commenced investigations in to the incident and steps were taken to implement law against persons who appear on these photographs under Pornography Prevention Amendment Act No. 22 of 1983 and the Police Ordinance.

Investigations conducted by police had revealed that the youths who published the ‘semi-naked’ photos are from Galewela and Kurunegala areas.

It is believed the young men were inspired to take the photo by a certain Instagram page, which encourages people to expose skin at famous locations around the world.

Pidurangala Rock is few kilometres from the ancient city of Sigiriya, a Unesco World Heritage site often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world.

The arrests have drawn mixed reaction: some are pleased with police defending the religious icon, while others say authorities should have more important things to do.