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Clarke denies being a pedophile

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Feb. 2 -- Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke has denied being a pedophile and sought postponement of his investiture as a knight by visiting Prince Charles. Denying the contents of an interview published in London's Sunday Mirror, Clarke has said he doesn't want to embarrass the royal visitor.

Charles is scheduled to bestow British knighthood on Clarke during Sri Lanka's 50th independence day celebrations on Wednesday. A known space visionary and author of '2001: A Space Odyssey' and at least 80 other books, Clarke has lived in the island nation for the last 40 years as a 'special resident guest.' He is reported to have told the Sunday Mirror, 'Once they have reached the age of puberty it is O.K....It doesn't do any harm. The newspaper quotes Clarke as saying: 'I think most of the damage comes from the fuss made by hysterical parents afterwards. If the kids don't mind, it is fair enough.' He has been quoted as saying, 'I am trying to think of the youngest boy I have ever had because, of course, you can't tell it here.' In a brief statement, Clarke today said, 'I am outraged by the allegations and I am seeking legal advice.' Child rights activists in Sri Lanka have expressed shock over his statement and called for his deportation from the country. Child abuse carries a minimum punishment of seven years jail in Sri Lanka, a country known for child prostitution. ---

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