Lanka leads online war against 'School Girls' Facebook page

Sri Lanka finds itself at the heart of a campaign targeted at a Facebook page that it sees as a violation of privacy and threat to the safety of minor girls.

According to a report in Lanka daily Ceylon Today, the Facebook page in question is called School Girls, and a complaint has already been made to the Criminal Investigation Department's (CID) Cyber Crimes Division.

The newspaper report claims that the page mainly uploads images of females, most of whom are underage and in school uniform.

The report alleges that the images may have been 'stolen' off Facebook accounts of students without their knowledge or approval.

One girl, Dinushi (20), (name changed) had submitted a report to Facebook after she came to know of her picture being uploaded in the page on 5 March. "I was 16 years old when I took that picture and I noticed it on the page when one of my schoolmates brought it to my attention."

Since the page began publishing images of young girls more often, there has been a huge online movement across Sri Lanka to get the page blocked.

While the images uploaded on the page are not deemed pornographic, the misrepresentation of the images falls under defamation.

According to Chapter XIX, Section 479 of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka, "Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said to defame that person."

The above report will only find more resonance among parents and teachers alike, after it emerged that a 13-year-old girl was allegedly molested by a 17-year-old boy, after the victim informed about the incident via a complaint box placed in her school, Sri Lanka police said.

The police report claims the girl had been sexually molested following a love affair with the boy.

The girl had been produced before a Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) and the suspect had been remanded to custody.

While children seem to be under attack online and in school, another report in Ceylon Today cites a problem with van drivers and assistants transporting school children.

The report alleges they in the area of Peradeniya, these drivers are in the habit of consuming liquor after dropping the children at school in the morning.

They are accused of drinking till they start their trip back to drop the students home.

Such an incident was reported to the Peradeniya Police recently.

A team of police then waited on the Gannoruwa–Peradeniya main road in Sri Lanka, close to the school, and apprehended drivers who had drunk.

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