SRI LANKA: COURT PROCEEDINGS BEGIN AGAINST SWISS BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR PAEDOPHILE ACTIVITY.
- Title: SRI LANKA: COURT PROCEEDINGS BEGIN AGAINST SWISS BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR PAEDOPHILE ACTIVITY.
- Date: 30th October 1996
- Summary: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (OCTOBER 30, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/MCU: DEMONSTRATORS DEMANDING DEPORTATION OF MAN ARRESTED IN CHILD SEX CASE (2 SHOTS) 0.13 2. MV: POLICE ESCORT ARRIVING AT COURTHOUSE 0.18 3. GV: CAR ARRIVING WITH SUSPECT 0.22 4. MV: BACK SHOT OF SUSPECT BEING ESCORTED TO HOLDING CELL 0.28 5. GV/MCU: ARUN THAMPO, ACTIVIST WITH "PROTECTING ENVIRONMENT AND CHILDREN EVERYWHERE," AND MEMBER OF GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE TO REFORM THE PENAL CODE ON CHILD ABUSE THAMPO, SAYING, "LEGAL PROCEDURES AND THE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS AND DOCUMENTATION AND THE DEGREE OF PROOF... AREAS OF THAT NATURE, CONTINUE TO BE THE OLD ANTIQUATED CONCEPTS. THIS NEEDS REVISION AND I BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING ACTION BUT VERY SLOWLY. (ENGLISH) 0.58 6. MV: COUNTER DEMONSTRATORS DEMANDING THE CASE BE DROPPED 1.01 7. LV: PROTESTERS 1.07 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVAD0D0SOB9AFJ78YB3OWJEEDN8D
- Location: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Duration: 00:01:09
- Story Text: INTRO: Sri Lanka has enforced a new tougher approach to child sexual abuse as court proceedings began against one of three foreign men arrested for alleged paedophile activity.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Court proceedings began on Wednesday (October 30) against one of three foreign men accused of paedophile activities.
Police and children's rights activists said the suspect, a 53-year-old Swiss businessman, was brought before a magistrate near the resort town of Negombo, north of Colombo, and then released on bail after his passport was impounded.
Investigators said the man was a longtime resident of Sri Lanka and was arrested two weeks ago while he was in the company of three boys aged between 11 and 16.
Police said the suspect had not been engaged in sexual acts at the time of the arrest. The boys first claimed they visited the man to learn English but later confessed to having sex with him.
The man's court appearance drew hundreds of protesters, many carrying signs demanding that he be deported, while a separate group staged a counter demonstration demanding his immediate release.
Some of the man's supporters said they are his employees and would lose their jobs if he was deported.
Child advocacy group officials said they estimate that as many as 30,000 children are engaged in the sex trade in the region.
Last year, Sri Lanka passed tough new laws aimed at discouraging foreign tourists seeking sex with children and put police on alert for paedophiles.
The law calls for a minimum five-year jail term and a maximum 20-year sentence for pimps and their clients.
Legislators also pushed the minimum age of consent up to 18 for boys and 16 for girls, making sex with anyone under this age a crime, but Arun Thampo, representing a children's advocacy group, said the government has not gone far enough.
"Legal proceedings and the evidential requirements and documentation as well as the degree of proof and areas of that nature continue to be the old antiquated concepts," he said.
"This needs revision, and I believe the government is taking action in that area but very slowly," Thmapo said.
Cases against two other suspected paedophiles, one Swiss and the other Belgian, are due in separate courts later this week.
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