Following kissing, Sri Lanka now cracks down on 'indecent' advertising

     Police in Sri Lanka are on a sort of 'cleaning spree' of billboards they call 'obscene advertising' - including racy images of women. Prior to this, they also detained young couples who were spotted indulging in inappropriate display of affection in public, like kissing, cuddling or holding hands. They claim that people are getting annoyed and embarrassed because of the youngsters' behaviour. The Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Children and Women said it would decide for itself what constituted 'decency'. According to the BBC News, the bureau announced that magazines and newspapers that publish offensive material would face punishment of up to six months' imprisonment. The move comes as an initiative to get the younger generation of Sri Lankans to respect women and avoid treating them as commodities. However, a human rights campaigner, Sunila Abeyesekera, described the initiative as "scary and arbitrary" and alleged that the state was engaged in moral policing of people's lives. She said the existing laws themselves were not powerful enough to ensure child protection from labour exploitation and sexual abuse.

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