18 May, 2024

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Charity Pockets Easter Bomb Child Victim’s Funds

By Marlon Dale Ferreira

In a rather shocking discovery, Colombo Telegraph can reveal that Ride4Ceylon along with the Institute of Medical Sciences Sri Lanka who conducted a campaign to collect funds for a 6 year old girl named Elisha Debbie Suranga of the Zion Church Batticaloa, who was badly injured in the deadly Easter bomb attack in 2019 did in fact pocket all the funds that was collected globally for her.

David Rasiah, best described as the engine that drives the Ride4Ceylon cycle charity by Dr. Jayantha Arnold of the Institute of Medical Sciences and who is also a Trustee of the UK based Charity Friends of Manipay Hospital, did in fact confess to a donor who made a substantial contribution, that the funds they collected were never given to the little 6 year old girl who lost both her parents in the deadly attack.

David Rasiah

In an audio recording in Colombo Telegraph’s possession, David Rasiah is heard confirming the same saying “When we started to collect funds the Church got to know about it and said that we should hand the collection to the church, who would then hand it over to the little girl. We said no. We will contact the family directly and give it to them. So, we sent Frank Vedamanikkam and his wife to meet the family in Batticaloa. Frank reported back to us saying that the uncle of the injured girl was emitting a strong odour of alcohol and recommended that no money should be given to the family. So, we put all the money back in our charity.”

David Rasiah speaking further stated that the collected monies (an undisclosed sum) was put into a ring-fenced account.

One of the donor’s who spoke to Colombo Telegraph and who was really upset about not being informed about such a decision that Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences took in regards to this particular fund collection drive said “After three years this is what we hear now. They should have had the decency to contact all the donors of this project in 2019 itself and offer to return the donated monies or ask us if we would like to contribute the given funds towards a different cause. That choice should have been left to the donors.”

Meanwhile a reputed charity located in Sri Lanka when contacted to seek their views on how they have been running their charity so successfully said “Based on what I hear, this is totally unethical, not accountable, not transparent and more importantly discouraged the donor from contributing further. Thereby depriving other needy people from receiving aid and donations of kind in the future by such willing donors.”

It could now be confirmed that there was no proper agreement between the church and or the family of the victim prior to Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences who commenced driving this fund-raising project, in a rather haphazard manner.

In fact, an online account that was opened by Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences (a not for profit organization registered in Sri Lanka) to collect funds online has now been discontinued.

Meanwhile, Colombo Telegraph did contact the Christian Priest who runs the Zion Church in Batticaloa to obtain his input regarding this issue.

Rev. Roshan Mahesan speaking to Colombo Telegraph said “I can confirm that the Zion Church Batticaloa did not receive any money that was collected by Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences on behalf of our little victim Elisha Debbie Suranga, who was badly injured in the 2019 Easter bomb attack. Till to date neither the church nor the family received any of the funds that they collected. The reason the church instructed Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences to hand the collected funds to the church is because we do have a very mechanism in place that is strictly adhered to when receiving and disbursing of donations in a very methodical manner.”

Whilst it is still to be established as to how much was exactly collected from this particular fund-raising project, Colombo Telegraph can confirm that at least two donations were in fact made.

G. Sayaruban on the 17th of September 2019, sent an advisory note by email to Dr. Jayantha Arnold (which is in Colombo Telegraph’s possession) stating that a transaction of Rs10,000 had been received to the IMS bank account for the 6-year-old Elisha Debbie Suranga.

The other donation was a sum of UK 100 Pounds made by an old Thomian which was acknowledged by David Rasiah himself.

When Colombo Telegraph spoke to the donor (who didn’t want to be identified) of the UK 100 Pounds to seek confirmation he said “Yes, I did donate 100 UK pounds for this cause. I spoke to David Rasiah no sooner than I found out that the funds he was collecting had not been given to the victim. David called many of us, his old college mates and we were happy to assist this cause. I can speak for myself and confirm my contribution, but I cannot vouch as to how much our other college mates contributed. We were all living and working in the Gulf at that time and I am confident many others would have made substantial contributions.”

“The decent thing for both Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences to have done was to contact all of us who donated money and kept us informed as to what the real situation was. If they were not handing the funds to the little girl, then they should have asked us what we would like to do with the monies donated. Technically it is a fraudulent thing they have done and it reflects very poorly on both Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences regarding as to how transparent they really are,” said the donor.

When Colombo Telegraph asked the donor who contributed the UK 100 pounds, if he would consider making contributions towards any future project conducted by Ride4Ceylon and Institute of Medical Sciences, he said “No way. Are you freaking nuts?”

In hindsight, driving of fund-raising projects need to be run in a planned and organized manner, started and completed within certain timeframes and driven in a very transparent manner.

In this instance it is evident that Ride4Ceylon and the Institute of Medical Sciences started collecting funds without establishing proper contact with the family of the 6-year-old little girl Elisha Debbie Suranga or with the Rev.Roshan Mahesan of the Zion Church Batticaloa.

This is as a fund-raising charity commenced with images of the bomb victim being used to pull on the heart strings of people, a few lines expressing who and what it was for, collected funds and one fine day it came to an abrupt end.

But the saddest part is that the intended recipient of the funds did not receive the sum that was collected globally for her.

A brief overview and summary:

Stated below is a brief overview and summary of our previous exposes published on the 12th of August 2022 titled “Jaffna Bishop Shattered As Cycle Charity Hoodwinks Donors And Pockets Manipay Hospital Funds” and on the 16th of August 2022 titled “Jaffna Bishop Instructs Manipay Hospital Board To Sever Ties With UK Charity FOMH” has a direct relevance to the Green Memorial Hospital located in Manipay Jaffna.

Whilst this entire saga could be confusing to the reader due to multiple entities involved, such as a church, a hospital, a charity based in the UK, a charity cycle ride conducted in Sri Lanka and another entity named Institute of Medical Sciences based in Sri Lanka, Colombo Telegraph wishes to provide a summary for easy comprehension.

It was on the 21st of October 2004, that the then Bishop Rt.Rev. Subramaniam Jebanesan issued a letter appointing four individuals namely Richard (Kirupa) Arnold, Bo Cyrus Mills, Dr. Jayantha Arnold and Anandan Arnold to form a charity named ‘Friends of Manipay Hospitals’, to raise funds and help restore the Green Memorial Hospital.

The appointed quartet then registered a charity in the UK named Friends of Manipay Hospital and used a cycle ride named Riders4Charity in its initial two years and then Ride4Ceylon ever since, as a fund generating platform over the period 2017 to 2022 (6 fundraising rides) that has now been discovered to be riddled with questionable statements in their submitted annual financial reports in the UK and also with sufficient proof beyond reasonable doubt that there is a huge conflict of interest pertaining to the UK registered charity Friends of Manipay Hospital even self-auditing their own Annual Reports prior to submitting them to the Charity Commission of UK and Wales.

Dr. Jayantha Arnold one of the Trustees of Friends of Manipay Hospital who claims to be the convener of the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) in Sri Lanka, is also on record stating that he established the IMS as a part of the UK charity Friends of Manipay Hospital.

However, Colombo Telegraph has sufficient proof to believe that theory otherwise, as one of Dr. Jayantha Arnold’s fellow Trustees Dr. Richard (Kirupa) Arnold of the UK Charity ‘Friends of Manipay Hospital’ confirmed that he had no idea that the Institute of Medical Sciences was established as part of FOMH in 2012. According to the submitted FOMH Annual Report of 2020, it is recorded that Dr. Richard (Kirupa) Arnold resigned on the 18th November 2019.

This entire series of exposes commenced as Colombo Telegraph obtained material of evidence pertaining to charity cycle rides conducted in 2017,2018,2019,2020,2021,2022 by the UK charity Friends of Manipay Hospital which raised over UK Pounds 200,000 that was never handed to the intended recipient, the Green Memorial Hospital.

However, in an email dated the 8th of August 2022, the appointed Medical Board of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India which the Green Memorial Hospital directly comes under, issued notice to Dr. Jayantha Arnold that the Green Memorial Hospital Manipay that they wish to terminate all signed contracts with the Institute of Medical Sciences ending 31st December 2022.

Colombo Telegraph in its next edition will publish facts of interesting discoveries it has made during its months-long investigations pertaining to several irregular financial transactions that have been committed by Ride4Ceylon, Institute of Medical Sciences and its UK based charity Friends of Manipay Hospital.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    11

    Is Colombo Telegraph behind this, what seems to be a targeted attack, on the Arnold Brothers and others.
    Unsubstantiated , he said, you said, anonymous said article.
    Gutter journalism by CT?

    • 10
      7

      I don’t think you are being fair by CT. The article says that they are in possession of a recording. Also, the article carries screenshots to backup their story. Surely, the parish priest from Batticaloa and the Bishop of Jaffna are not going to make up stories in collusion with CT? That’s ridicules.

      • 1
        8

        Obviously you are also in collusion with them

      • 1
        3

        D
        Priests and media persons not making up stories?
        On which planet are you?
        Many CT stories are about misdeeds of priests. And we know how unbiased several of the reports here had been.

  • 10
    3

    This is an upsetting story because to use a little child who has suffered the terrible tragedy of losing both her parents plus her eyesight in the Easter Sunday bombing to collect funds shows just how low some unscrupulous people would go. To even want to profit for a tragedy such as the Easter Sunday bombing is just disgusting. When charities like this do such dishonest things nobody will want to be charitable anymore and it will cause a knock-on effect for all charities. Really despicable behaviour.

  • 4
    4

    MDF
    I don’t think the organisers of charity are in need of money. Those who are accusing Arnold brothers must be having some problems. Accusations need to be verified before getting published

  • 6
    2

    Remind yourself to millions of US $s of Tsunami Relief Fundd misappropriated by Mahinda R whom a crooked Judge exonerated him.
    SL history would have been different if Judge had been truthful

  • 8
    1

    This is why I never go to church and never contribute to “charities.” I’d rather commune directly with God, and thrust what little I can spare into the hands of the people who are hungry and bleeding.

  • 4
    2

    Where is the blood money Muslim organisations promised????? Middle Eastern Muslim country promised
    $5 million which is yet to receive.

    • 1
      1

      Tony, is someone in waiting to steal it?

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