15 December, 2017

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A Heartbreaking Story: ‘Agape Orphanage’ Ripped Apart

By Eva Kodithuwakku

Eva Kodithuwakku

I am a Sri Lankan lady 72 years of age and was residing overseas for 12 years. Upon returning to Sri Lanka in 2007, I visited the Agape Children’s Home in Tissamaharama – an orphanage run by Rev. Dayaratne (Parish Priest of the Assembly of God Church) and his wife Sister Mala.

I offered to work at the Home as a volunteer, handling the administration and also to teach English to the children. During this period I was touched to see the way the children were brought up as one family. They called Sister Mala and Rev. Dayaratne ‘Amma’ (Mum) and ‘Thatha’ (Dad) who in turn showered the children with parental love they so deserved. I realized that this was not run like a normal orphanage but a loving home; they were ‘one big happy family.’

With no intention of opening an orphanage, Rev. Dayaratne and his wife Mala opened their home to receive an abused child way back in year 2001. With the increase in numbers, it was registered as an orphanage under ‘Agape Children’s Home’ in 2006. Presently it houses over a 100 children at any given time.

Agape Children pleading not to be taken away

To date it has sheltered around 200 children up to the age of 18 years which include some who are now employed and even given in marriage. These children include abused, abandoned, orphaned and destitute children sent by the Department of Child Care and Probation and the Magistrate Courts in Hambantota, Tissamaharama, Balapitiya and Angunakolapelessa of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim backgrounds.

At Agape Home, all girls and boys only under the age of 13 are housed in 8 cottages equipped with beds, linen, toilets and other basic facilities. Each cottage accommodates 10 – 12 children along with a full-time House-Mother who works on a voluntary basis. This section has a kid’s play area, playground, auditorium, large dining hall, library, computer room, common toilets and showers. Rev. Dayaratne, Sister Mala and their 20-year old daughter live in a separate house within the premises, while their second daughter aged 14 years lives in one of the cottages with the other children.

On the opposite side of the road is a 2500 sq ft two storied building used as a dormitory to house only boys of ages 13 – 18 years. This too is equipped with toilets, kitchen and a pantry.  Rev. Dayaratne’s only son aged 15 also lives in this building along with the other boys.

The home is also blessed with a mini bus and a 3-wheeler, to meet the transportation needs of the children. The bus also picks up other children in the village on its way to school and back.

Agape has its own pre-school situated within its premises and is also attended by some of the children from the surrounding villages. The rest of the children of school going age attend two Government Schools in Tissamaharama.  All these children despite their own religion learn Buddhism as a subject up to GCE O/L.

Amongst these are 03 children aged 12, 13 and 14 who attend ‘Apey Pattaw’, a school for children with special needs located in Hambantota. It is an emotional sight to watch all these children kiss their Amma and Thatha before they leave to school in the mornings. Another 08 year old boy who obtained a full scholarship attends an International School in Colombo.

Agape Home was placed first in the Hambantota District and third in the Southern Province for quality standards awarded by the Department of Probation and Childcare Services in 2010.

The home is registered under the Child Care Probation Department and does not receive any financial assistance from the state.  However, there are many who have heard and visited the home, and they voluntarily support it in many ways. The main costs of running the home include electricity, water, food, medical, transport and education.

Due to the constraints of meeting these operational expenses and in order to become self-sufficient, a vegetable plot was started about 04 years ago behind the boys’ dormitory. Subsequently a poultry farm was set up with the intention to provide an egg a day for a child.

The farm then expanded to include a piggery, mainly to sell the animals when mature, which brought in a reasonable amount of income to run the home. Both the poultry and the piggery were handled by two men aged 54 and 21 years and not by any of the children. The home ran a small farm shop by the roadside to sell some of the produce from the farm.

On Saturday 23rd of March 2013, one of the men in charge of the piggery was preparing to slaughter one animal. During this time some of the older boys from the Home were engaged in clearing branches and undergrowth in the area where they had their vegetable plots. An interested party from the neighborhood known to the children had prompted the boys to leave the vegetable plot and run towards the piggery. These events had been discreetly filmed and was aired on a local TV Channel on 24th night, alleging that the boys from the home are used to slaughter pigs. Pastor Dayaratne was arrested the following day, based on this TV report and later released on bail.

The propaganda against the Agape Home continued with the distribution of handbills, posters and organized rallies in and around Tissamaharama. The same TV Channel on the 4th of April also showed a child whose face was disguised, purported to be from the Agape Home, accusing the Rev. Dayaratne of sexual abuse of girls in the Home. This child was never at Agape Home and is not connected to the Home in any way.

The same evening officials of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) arrived with a court order at the home to remove all the children. Despite screams and cries asking their ‘Amma’ and ‘Thatha’ to save them all 76 of children were reluctantly bundled into a single 42-seat bus amidst their protests and were taken away at around 9.00 pm. This painful incident will remain in the memmory these children for many years to come.

Photos of the incident taken at the time were confiscated and destroyed by some persons who came along with the NCPA officials. The children had been taken first to Tissamaharama and then to the Lunugamvehera Police Stations. The villagers living nearby told us how they heard the screams of the children up to their homes and had come running to see what was happening. The bus had then left and eventually arrived at the NCPA Head Office at Madiwela, Kotte the following morning around 7.30. All the children had been put into an empty hall in the building with only a few bed sheets on the ground to sleep on.

Up to now we have not had any contact with these children although we learnt that all of them have been scattered in various orphanages throughout the country. No Media Organization has interviewed these children. Among them are 3 girls and 3 boys sitting for the GCE (O/L) examination and 2 girls sitting for the GCE (A/L) examination this year. They plead that they be released to come back to Agape Home and continue their studies. Their school books, clothes and toys still remain in their little cottages with their House-Mothers still waiting anxiously for their return.

These children, who have never known what it is to have a home, love of a mother or father, never had peace in their lives, abused, never gone to school have got a new lease of life at the Agape Home. These scared and broken children found love, peace, joy and finally a FAMILY that each child calls his own. I know for a fact that they don’t have all the luxuries of life but they had the greatest treasure of a Mother, Father, brothers and sisters.

Sadly their lives have been ripped apart and their hearts broken by a handful of heartless selfish people with ulterior motives. My only request is that those responsible for the removal of these children which resulted in the breakup of this family will heed the voices of these broken children and allow them to return to Agape and unite once again with the only family that most of them have ever known.

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Latest comments

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    The Chairperson of NCPA is Anoma Disanayake. A good for nothing woman. I have first hand experience with working with them. The police seargents working at NCPA are very good at taking bribes and falsifying and misrepresenting evidence. I tell this with 100% sincerity. They are NOT there to protect any abused children. OH NO! Only to harrass them further and to fill thier own pockets. It should be the NCHA- NATIONAL CHILD HARRASSMENT AUTHORITY.

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    GOD PLEASE SAVE ALL THESE CHILDREN…..ONLY YOU CAN.

    WHAT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAN IS POSSIBLE TO YOU.”

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    The childrens faces say it all. Being torn from what they call home…from all that they know and the only people who took the time to give them a sense of security & belonging. No home is ever perfect, but it is our sanctuary. Don’t children have a voice? The Rights of Children Act gives them one and we should echo that voice so they will be heard. One day these kids will be adults an they will not forget. Situations like this will only draw people closer to the One True & Just God. May His will be done.

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    Please update on the court case.

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    All that is good and all that is bad. All in the name of religion!
    It is better to vie in doing good and have a healthy competition rather than build up envy and hatred. At least the poor and the innocent will benefit. But for good and bad to have a free-for-all is ridiculous. Envy is a non-starter and a non-achiever and is never going anywhere and is ever going nowhere, like falling into a rut.

    Where now is the “mindfulness”, the “compassion” that is preached – is it only for lip-service? If one cannot practise these, let those who are already doing so, even though from another denomination, do it simply for the sake of doing good. For the recipients are our own unfortunate Sri Lankan children – orphaned, abused or from broken homes. If it is difficult for you to give them love unconditionally and for all of their childhood, let those who have taken up the task, do it. For their goal is selfless service to the poor, the needy, the broken, the marginalized. Go do the same rather than turn green with envy.

    And, be careful, the world is watching you and knows every move you make, every step you take. Sri Lanka’s reputation is at stake and in fact is already damaged by the behaviour of people like you. There already would be an arsenal of damaging information compiled against Sri Lanka in the recent past.

    What has happened to the reportedly happy, friendly and generous peoples the Sri Lankans are reputed to be.

    It is time for preparation for reparation before we suffer separation from the rest of the world, when we are sidelined. Don’t wait for the next tsunami to hit us – just think who helped our country when the Dec. 2004 tsunami hit our shores. Did you refuse help from Christian nations when their compassion was directed towards you? Did you not accept their charity? Doesn’t it make a better world?

    Please take the necessary steps immediately to repair the damage caused to those innocent kids and let their cries and their tears move you, if nothing else will. Or you will be tormented by their cries every night when you lay down your head to rest. Have pity on their little hearts – they have hurt no one.

    Hurting

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    The case was postponed to the 6th of May. The NCPA wants more time I guess to do what – only God knows or Anoma knows……. Shame on you Anoma when you are supposed to protect kids is this what you are doing???
    I wonder if you have any kids of your own?? Remember what goes around comes around ….The God that these kids worship is real and He will deal with all those who mistreat His babies….
    I really feel sorry for you because there will be a day that you will have to answer to HIM – the creator of heaven and earth.

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    Anoma accused Pastor and Sister Mala for not sending the kids to school.(Sunday Leader April 21) She sent her goons in a van to collect the children’s school books. Believe me, her goons were shocked when they arrived at the Agape home – there were so many,many books (80 odd kids books) as they had to go back and hire a lorry to take the children’s books that were neatly covered in brown paper.

    The kids under her care are Not going to school yet. Sadly there were children sitting for the A/L and O/L exams. These kids went for tution classes while they were in Agape.What are you doing NCPA??

    Wonder what her family will have to pay for all the sins she is committing.

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      not only her family but all perptrators and their next 3 generations will pay for this great sin. For the lies and false witnessing and slander will bring the wrath of God.

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      I personally know what a lot of effort goes into sending these children to school.

      * When they are first brought to Agape, most of them have never gone to school (even as old as 8 years old!!) and the older ones have not attended school regularly. Sister Mala would then arrange special teachers to teach the ones who have never gone to school, and get them to a standard where they will be accepted to Grade 1 even though over aged. The others would be coaxed into attending school regularly and tutored until they can catch up with the knowledge of the others in their respective classes.

      * Uniforms, shoes and etc are now cheap. Nor are the school bags, and all those other items like 2 lunch boxes each, serviettes, water bottles, and the stationary which is not provided free to school kids. We are not asking that they be provided free, but merely stating that to provide educational material, special tutors for the weak ones, transport, and much more is not easy.

      I can remember two years ago, Sister Mala called me in desperation somewhere in Nov end or Dec and said that the free uniform material would not be issued at the end of the year as used to be the practice as the Government was not doing so in Dec of that year. We had to tap at all the resources available to find uniforms for around 90 school going children. We had only budgeted (in our minds, as we never had the money) for tailoring and now we have to buy the material too. All those who rallied round Agape Children at that time would remember this very clearly.

      Visitors to Agape who see our kids either going to school in the morning or returning in the afternoon are almost always so amazed at how beautifully turned out they are. All with clean uniforms, good shoes, school bags and looking so happy.

      These are the ones who are now being deprived of their right to a good education, and right to attending school regularly. They have already lost three weeks from this term, and the case being heard only next Monday most probably they will miss a couple of weeks more and I wonder if many of them will never ever go to school again.

      THIS THE SAD TRUTH OF THESE CHILDREN AND I WONDER IF NO ONE IN AUTHORITY CARES.

      THIS IS WHY I PRAY THAT ANOMA WILL CHOOSE THE KIDS ABOVE ALL OTHER CONSIDERATION AND SEND THEM BACK TO AGAPE SPECIALLY AS AM SURE THAT SHE CAN SEE THAT THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE PASTOR OF CONVERSION, ABUSE (SEXUAL/PHYSICAL/MENTAL) ARE NOT TRUE.

      HE HAS ALWAYS DONE HIS VERY BEST FOR THE CHILDREN. HE AND HIS WIFE AND HIS BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN LOVE THESE KIDS AS THEIR VERY OWN. IF ONE WERE TO ASK VILLAGERS (THE ACTUAL ONES LIVING IN SURROUNDING AREA AND NOT FROM OTHER VILLAGES)THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT WHO HAS EVEN GIVEN AWARDS TO AGAPE HOME, THE COURTS WHO HAVE BEEN SENDING KIDS HERE FOR SEVERAL YEARS, THE MOMS/DADS (IN THE CASE OF SINGLE PARENTS) AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES, THEY WOULD HAVE AMPLE PROOF OF ALL THIS.

      Please forget the pride of a changed mind, please do not stubbornly stick to what was aired over just one channel who has a warped mind and is always airing substance which will cause turmoil amongst religions/races, and please do give these kids the blessing of returning to the only home which they know, to the bosom of the only family that they know of.

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    It is a responsibility of all the media to investigate this incident and released to public , and also political and international responsibilities should act on this government and all religious people should wake up– OHH sorry all these are sleeping to find the truth and favor to Innocent party because they don’t have any commercial benefit on this ….. Just a HOT HOT NEWS for them

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    The latest update on the Agape Children……. (29th April 2013)

    For the Dayaratne Family it was a day of happiness & in anticipation of seeing some of the children handed over to their families in courts this morning. Sis. Mala with the rest of the House Mums had prepared fried rice, chicken, dhal curry and papadam for lunch to have with these kids and their families.

    Outside the Tissamaharama Court House premises were 2 vans parked with a bunch of 20 adorable kids. Suddenly they saw a familiar vehicle approach the court house and they recognized it to be their loving ‘Amma’ and ‘Thatha’ coming to rescue them. They all were excited !!! With smiles from ear to ear, they were waving their hands at the approaching vehicle. As for them, the 26 days in “HELL” has come to an end.

    The case was called around 12 noon, but was to be taken up again, during the day. It was hot, humid & tiring. During the break the NCPA officials took the children for lunch, which consisted of a vegetable roti & a piece of cake. The girls were fortunate to remain in their van with the air conditioner on, while the boys remained in their van with no similar comforts.

    Some of those present outside the court premises took the opportunity to speak to the children who continued to sit and wait in the 2 vans. They were made to understand that the children had been separated in to groups and are placed in different homes in Panadura, Kalutara, Hikkaduwa & Hokandara. They had complained about the food, lack of beds (in certain places which resulted them to sleep on the floors) and had begged; ‘PLEASE RESCUE THEM FROM HELL.’

    At the hearing, the NCPA officials said they were willing to handover 20 kids to their family members subject to a series of lengthy conditions. They said they completed the medical check ups on the children but are now sending them through physiological tests.

    One of the lawyers present in courts stated that the NCPA ARE SUPPOSE TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN & then questioned them, as to what good they have done up to now, other than sending just 01 child to school (out of the total of 89 children removed from the Agape Home) while the others have missed school for the past week, out of which, some them are seating for their A/L’s & O/L’s. The judge having listen to the arguments & counter arguments decided to postpone the handing of the children to the parents until all inquiries were completed. He stated that THESE ARE CHILDREN AND THAT THE NCPA SHOULD STOP PLAYING WITH THEIR LIVES!!!!

    It was a sad moment when we had to walk up to the vans and tell the children that they won’t be going to their homes that day, but may be on the 6th of May when all of them would have to be present in courts once again. The kids who were smiling & looking forward to getting away from the clutches of NCPA started to cry & asked why they had to undergo such pain & heartache…

    The children were taken to Kataragama by NCPA officials. On their way, they passed Agape Home. Recognizing it, the children started screaming out from the vehicles pleading, “PLEASE SAVE US!!!!”
    My questions are, ‘Will the children be able to get out from the clutches of the NCPA on the 6th? ……..What about the rest of the kids?’

    Some of the kids stated that don’t want to go to school anymore, because they are ashamed to face the outside world after the medical check ups and harassment they went through during the past few weeks. We believe if the NCPA had such proof, by now thry would have 1/brought it up in courts 2/would have broadcasted through their ‘Pet Channel’ Swarnavahini, who made false statements such as “the children have been saved from Apaya” (Hell) & Mrs. Anoma Dissanayake thanked them for doing so,

    MRS. DISSANAYAKE…FOR YOUR INFORMATION..THE CHILDREN CLAIM THEY ARE IN HELL WHILE THEY ARE IN YOUR HANDS & KEEP PLEADING WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD TO RESCUE THEM FROM YOUR CLUTCHES. (These are THEIR WORDS…..& not ours!!!!) is it because they keep asking for AGAPE HOME that you have put them for “Psychiatric Evaluations ????”

    Being the Head, don’t you hear their cries??? What answers did you give to the girls who managed to somehow talk to you & challenge you to come just for ONE DAY, STAY WITH THEM AT AGAPE HOME & EXPERIENCE FOR YOURSELF THE LOVING ENVIRONMENT THEY LIVE IN & GET TO KNOW THEIR AMMA (Mum) & THATHA (Dad)??? Do you ever know the meaning of the word ‘AGAPE???’ It means ‘UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.’ Wonder how you would pay for these crimes you have committed?

    The NCPA accused the Child Probation (CP) saying they have not taken care of the kids, where as the lady from CP has nothing but SAVED THE LIVES OF MANY CHILDREN. They were taken from a sexual or physical abused environments, some even taken off the streets and sent to Agape. CP found these children a HOME of their own where there was PROTECTION for them FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD & theCHILDREN FOUND SELF-ESTEEM (check Pam & Keith’s comments) UNTIL NCPA TOOK THEM AWAY.

    To the HEAD of CHILD PROBATION, I know that NCPA has requested you to make an inquiry on Ms. Pushpamali, you should be truly PROUD to have OFFICERS as DEDICATED AS HER IN YOUR ORGANIZATION. She has SAVED MANY LIVES & GIVEN THEM A NEW LIFE…(I’VE SEEN THE PROOF OF MANY these past few days, some of which who are happily married with kids of their own, some working who came to see their mum & dad, to support & encourage them through this ordeal.) Ms. Pushpamali, no matter what happens in the future, REMEMBER, you have done a “GREAT JOB” during the past few years in identifying children and giving them a new life. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY !!!

    Finally, I also want to thank all of you readers and specially those who contributed with your valuable thoughts on Agape Children’s Home, Rev. Dayaratne & Sis Mala have been encouraged by your words. God bless you all !!!

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    Words fail me when I try to write about my true feelings on the plight of these beautiful sons and daughters of our country. These children were handed over to the Agape Home by the courts, and by the Probation Dept because Agape had over the years proved to be a safe haven for kids who have faced so much abuse from their own kith and kin. When I first visited Agape some years ago, there was a little girl of three who had been sexually abused by her own father. Over the years I saw the change in this little girl. She got over her fears, started to feel the unconditional love of her new parents- her new Amma (Mom) and Thatha (Dad) and then she started going to school. She was such a beautiful girl. This is but one child… but most of the kids who were there were either sexually or physically abused, or come from broken home where the single parent sometimes the mother or sometimes the father found that he/she could not provide adequately for the child, some were from the streets…. All of them found Agape Love (Unconditional love) from Pastor Daya and his wife Mala and also from their biological children who loved these unfortunate kids. I have seen Pastor’s daughter of 18 giving haircuts to the kids during holidays. She would start the task around 8 am and go on even to the end of the day, as she had over 50 kids to handle. But she would always do so with so much love and patience.

    One evening one the small boys was taken ill and taken to hospital. That night sister Mala stayed with the boy and even though I offered to stay she said that she knows the staff etc and it will be better for her to stay specially as the child too feels more secure with her there. The next day was Thursday and the day in which she normally goes to the Fare to do her weekly grocery shopping. I thought that on this particular Thursday she would not go as she had been up the whole night. But I was so stunned to see that after breaking rest the whole night, she had come early morning and then gone back to the Fare. I immediately thought that I had I stayed in the hospital with my own kid, would have definitely come back and slept. But this wonderful lady was so sacrificial in her love. She knew she had to stay with the little one and she did so, and she knew that she had to do the marketing to feed the others, that task too she willingly did. SHE IS AN EXAMPLE TO ALL MOTHERS.

    Anoma you have caused havoc in the lives of these children, and for what reason? Why don’t you admit that you made a mistake, and gracefully send the kids back to where they truly belong? It is ok to make mistakes. You can always say that you had a moral obligation to verify the facts that were presented by the lying Swarnavahini and that you have found no truth and therefore you are sending them back to Agape. If you are truly concerned all you would have to do is monitor them in any way that you can.

    Why are you sending these children back to their kith and kin who were once found not suitable to have them, who could not provide adequate protection in their homes, and who are still living on the streets? Don’t you know that they will once again be subject to abuse of various kinds!!!

    Children are just taken here and there, brought to courts, taken back and etc … These children have already missed three weeks of their new school term. This problem is not going to end on the 6th. Doesn’t someone care about this?

    Are you really thinking of the children? Or are you just bowing down to the whims and fancies to whoever it is?…. Shame on you….. How you ever got the appointment as the head of the Childcare authority is beyond me. Fine childcare this is!!!

    Isn’t there someone/ some organization/ some one in great power… out there who will take the side of these kids?

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      Dear Child Care Authority of Sri Lanka,

      Blessings to you.

      I have been to Agape for many times since my first visit in 2004 before the Tsunami and had known Pastor Daya and his family since then. At that time, there were only about ten children in Agape. Through the years, even though the burden of looking after the children had increased with the growing number sent to Agape, I never once heard or sensed them complaining. I see them working very hard but they were always full of joy and they willingly go through it all. Those of us with our own children know how difficult it can be to look after just one or two children so just imagine how they can managed it fifty…a hundred times over. Seeing with my own eyes how much they love the children, I have no doubt in my mind that it can only be true love, unconditional love I am seeing that is holding them together. If they are not a model for us parents to follow, I don’t know who else can qualify.

      There was once when I was travelling with Pastor Daya when he received a phone call. To my surprise I can hear very clearly the voices of excited children on the other end and they were laughing and singing a birthday song to him and telling him they love him. I did not show it then but I was almost moved to tears. The sincerity of the children is as warm as any parents can ever hope to hear.

      I understand that only a good tree can bears good fruits and it is his unconditional love for the children that brought about the kind of love responded by the children. But sadly, now the fruits, the branches together with the tree are almost uprooted, intentionally or unintentionally.

      HOWEVER, I feel this does not need to happen. I believe there is good in everyone and as long as you who has the authority to help is willing to listen to that still small voice in your heart, all these hurts can be healed and the damaged controlled.

      I know that there may be pressure coming down on you, be it from higher authorities or other factors, I hope that you who can turn things around can stop and listen to your heart. I hope that you can ignore the noise of the storm coming down on you for a moment and listen. Please do not become an instrument for those who wish to cause harm to the innocent.

      You have the power to make things right, PLEASE PLEASE don’t delay until it is too late.

      To show my sincerity and not just words…
      If there is anything at all that are required to help bring the children back home to Agape, I invite you to let us know here.

      Whatever it takes, rest assure that we will find a way to compliment with you. No trouble is too much trouble as long as the children can be happy again and the hurts healed when they return to Agape.

      If transportations are needed to bring them back, it will be provided for. If authority personels are needed to be stationed at Agape to monitor and ensure that the children are well, let us know and we will be more than willing to support that fully. Even if we need to pay for their salary let us know. Anything else, please do not hesitate to let us know.

      I hope you don’t read this the wrong way, it is not about the money or the resources. Doing the right thing by healing the hurts of the children is one of the most important thing. Besides that, only your understanding of the importance of your action can come close.

      8th May will be Pastor Daya’s birthday. I hope that with your decision and help, you can give him AND the children of Agape, the greatest birthday gift of all by testifying that it is right for the children to return to Agape during the court’s hearing on the 6th May.

      May you be blessed greatly through your decision to return the children to Agape where they are truly loved.

      Peace
      Ricky (Singapore)

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    Thank you Ricky for not being afraid to speak the truth. Yes, all of us who have stepped into Agape even for one day, will vouch for the fact that these are children who are loved even more that many a child living with his/her own parent. For how many parents are there in this world who continuously abuse their children in some way or the other… either deliberately or without even thinking about it.

    I can vouch … along with many others who have visited Agape that these children are loved so very much. It may be that they are not fed star class meals every day, but they are fed with a lot of love and caring. The kids are happy and if one takes the trouble to see they will see how the little ones are at peace in this huge family. Even the two or three children who are special needs kids were sent to a school for such children in Hambantota and they were daily gaining from this. Ape Pattau is the name of this place and if one takes the trouble to ask the personnel who work there they will vouch for this fact.

    My heart breaks when I think of the plight of those few special needs kids who will now have to face life in a strange place amongst strangers, and God alone knows what their plight will be.

    Ms Anoma I plead with you very humbly, please do resist the evil forces behind this very move to hurt these poor innocent children who had a peaceful home with a Mom and Dad who loved them. You will be blessed indeed if you will listen to your inner heart, perhaps listen to the young ones who would have already shared with you how much they love this Amma and Thatha ( Mom and Dad)and make this dream come true for them. It would be no shame on you for doing what was ‘right’ for this nearly 100 girls and boys who are clamouring to go back to the only home they ever knew. To forget this as a nasty nightmare, and to live their normal lives, going back to school, and etc.

    You would be richly blessed if you will hearken to your inner heart, and work as your conscious will dictate to you. Please play fair by these innocent kids whose future happiness is in your hands.

    There are two girls preparing to do their ALs this year and they have but a few more months, and already three weeks have gone by… Please please do the ‘right’ thing by these kids who will remain grateful to you forever, for being bold enough to face the wrath of whoever is behind all these happenings. You will be blessed by all these innocent kids by a magnanimous gesture which will send them back into the only ‘home’ they have ever known, into the family who took them in and showered them with only LOVE. AGAPE love…. unconditional LOVE and those of us who love Agape and what it stands for will remain eternally grateful to you and respect you as a great Lady who was not afraid to do what is right. May God bless you

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    We are finding it difficult to believe that these beautiful innocent children are still not back where they belong at Agape home the only SAFE home many of them have ever known Shehani’s record of the events at court last week were heart breaking to read. We know so many of these children and have seen the changes – for good as they have received the unconditional love of their “mum and dad” – Rev Dayaratne and Sister Mala and relaxed in a secure and safe environment. We have seen them returning home from school for the first time so excited to be able to attend school. I cannot describe the joy of the special needs children who attend Ape Pataw (the unit Eva mentioned). These children had no hope of an education! We have seen children used to begging on the street and asking white people for money turn into children who give small gifts to visitors on their birthday and who readily love and care for their “brothers and sisters” in the home. This is personal experience not “hearsay”. I have experienced the love of Agape children on my birthday. It was an indescribably joy and blessing to see the generosity of heart in these children who have so little and have suffered so much. It is time for their suffering to end. They do not deserve this treatment. Please anyone who can stop the suffering of these children – please act!
    These children have experienced the effects of another Tsunami! They have lost their parents, their home, their biological siblings and siblings for the home, their school life, their security has been ripped away from them. How do they feel in their new homes? Do they have hope for their future now? They will feel traumatised, angry, abandoned, confused, upset…….. the list of powerful negative feelings is endless. They will need sincere love and care to get over these recent experiences. These children have already suffered enough in their earlier life – as Eva stated- they have suffered abuse of all sorts, abandonment, neglect from their biological family. We read that one plan is to return them to their families. Have the families received training and help to parent these children better. Please, please send them back to their only true home – AGAPE CHILDREN’S VILLAGE. We pray that Sri Lanka will never have to face another Tsunami. Please let’s stop this nightmare for these children? May God bless all in the next court hearing.

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    May 2nd was going to be a great day for the Agape Family. Two girls and one boy were being made school Prefects .
    The children were so excited and looking forward to this great day. They had stitched new uniforms and “their mum” – sister Mala – was supposed to pin the ‘Prefect badges’ on her kids. She was so proud of their achievements and was looking forward to going to school and doing the honors. She was in tears as she related this story to me and was so sad that these three kids had missed out on a great event in their lives.
    She was also worried (as all of us mothers are) over the 2 A/L students and 6 O/L student who are missing school and tution classes.
    Does she sound like a Matron of a home or a loving mother of these destitute children???

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    But I thought somewhere in one of the papers NCPA Chairperson Mrs. Anoma Dissanayake when interviewed said that these kids went to school only about 2 or 3 days a month?

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      She is not telling the truth.

      What is the need to have a NCPA when Child probation was functioning effectively?

      I’m sure NCPA has no work.

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    Reading through I understand that the children are kept in 4 different homes. If only 20 children are taken out of clutches of the NCPA, how will the other 70 odd children who lived as one family at Agape feel? Isn’t this another act of the NCPA to further traumatize these kids ? 

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      I think that they themselves do not know what they do. Yes Pam you are right our beautiful kids have encountered another Tsunami in their lives. Perhaps the NCPA themselves have got caught to a Tsunami of their own making and are now helplessly tottering about with no of escaping what they them selves started.

      Agape kids went to school regularly. Their school records – if checked- would reveal the truth of this matter.

      They are going to give back 20 kids to their parent or next of kin who were originally found to be either not fit or unable to give protection, feed and educate their kids. Have they all won lotteries that they are expected to do so now? Or now that the kids are bigger, older and thanks to Agape Home healthier and can be ‘sold’ to any interested person suddenly become ‘assets’ rather than the ‘liabilities’ they were a few years ago?

      Why is it that the newspapers who jumped to give publicity to this report at the start, suddenly gone silent?????? The case was held several times after that, and we have seen only one sided information coming out. When are we going to see the actual truth by the so called mass media who are boasting that they speak only the truth? Is it that now that the interested parties did away with the bold reporters either killing them, or making them leave our beautiful shores, we have no reporter with a back bone firm enough to reveal the truth?

      Sad that our children have to pay for our cowardliness…. sad that the ugly racist, rapist and the anti buddhist fanatics seem to rule the day.

      I firmly believe that the men and women who truly follow the doctrine of the Buddha will have any part in this type of behaviour, but am sure that they too are helpless and watching in silence the unfolding of tragic stories such as this, and wishing in their hearts that things would change!!!!

      I can only say ‘Dear God forgive the NCPA and whoever is responsible for causing this havoc, for they do not know what they do, and please open their eyes to the truth even at this late stage’ For it is still not too late to make amends, the try and undo the horrors that these kids have endured the last month, and give them all back on the date of the next court hearing which is tomorrow.

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    While reading through I understand that the children are kept in 4 different homes. If only 20 children are taken out of clutches of the NCPA, how will the other 70 odd children who lived as one family at Agape feel? Isn’t this another act of the NCPA to further traumatize these kids ? 

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      Case has been postponed to the 3rd of June. The 21 kids were handed over to the next of kin. As you ask what about the others? They will not have their schooling, and this will make them go back even further down in their studies. What about the four special needs children whom Agape were sending to APE PATAU a special school in Hambantota where they were thriving.

      Words fail me and I feel so sad that things like this can happen to kids and from the very people who are supposed to be the Authority on Child care? Is this how they care?…. Don’t the authorities care, do at least the media care? Or they too worried about themselves to really give publicity to what has to be publicized?

      Mother Lanka are you ashamed that this is happening to your children???? Or have you too given up as there is nothing you can do!!!!

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    please up date on the court case

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    Rajapakses is the only Family in the world who stole poor peoples Tsunami fund sent by International community to homeless people who lost all their houses and belongings after Tsunami, to build their lost homes and their framily members.

    May be Rajapakses were expecting their usual Brand logo “Mr.10%” commission Fee from Agape Home as their usual “kappam” bribery fee which I think Agape did not pay them.

    I am writing this because Anything is possible under Rajapakses Mahinda Chinthana development program.

    Rajapakses even cannot lay a 2 mile concrete road without a Borrowing from outside ususally with the 10% commission.

    This is not what I say, but what I hear from all my friends and collegues.

    Rajapakses plan to have November CHOGM in Sri Lanka and planning to lure foreign Investments into our country which is a good thing.

    But I don’t know if Rakapakses know that CHOGM members do not offer 10% commissions like other Business deals similar to Mattala Airport without planes, Hambanthota Harbour without ships and Norochcholai Power station which always breakdown without electricity.

    It’s time somebody advise Rakapakses that 10% commissions are not welcome anymore and to get rid of this maniac which is bad for our country and economy.

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    WELL WELL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE NCPA. I HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE OF TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION TO A CHILD ABUSE CASE SOME TIME BACK.
    THERE IS MUCH TO BE DESIRED IN YOUR SERVICES TO THIS COUNTRY. DO WHAT IS JUST AND RIGHT AND NOT BE POLITICALLY RIGHT.

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    As most people who have written here use bogus names, that it self show their comments are not worth reading. I hope the children are safe as some orphanages do horrid things to kids. But this place should never have slaughtered animals as that is wrong teaching to kids.

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