15 December, 2017

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Church Of South India’s Interference Affecting Well Being Of Students: Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association

The Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association has accused Church of South India of forcefully obtaining the retirement of Mrs. Shiranee Mills, the former principal of the school. In a statement issued today, the Parents’ Association has said that the church has not only deceitfully misled Mrs. Mills, but also misled students. “As parents we strongly condemn such dishonesty. The administration of a popular school behaving in such a manner, had led to producing a negative image for the school,” they said in a statement.

They also said that the interference of the Church of South India has greatly affected the wellbeing of the school.uduvil-girls-school-crisis

“Priests from the Church, their family members and relatives have been appointed as teachers of the school. Appointment of teachers to the school is being used as an attractive perk for priests and members who formally left and joined the newly formed Church of the American Mission, to draw them back to the Church of South India. The authority of the principal to appoint teachers was curtailed and the whims and fancies of the church have become the deciding force of these appointments. It is due to such interference of the church a section of the teachers who now serve in the school are found to have unfit educational and professional qualifications. We fear that this situation will further deteriorate after the removal of Mrs. Shiranee Mills. Further, it may lead to a complete decline of the school’s standard,” the statement said.

Below is the full statement issued by the Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association:

Statement by the Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association with regards to the recent crisis situation at Uduvil Girls’ College

As parents of the students of Uduvil Girls’ College, an important section of the community of the school, and as an affected group, we would like to bring to the attention of the public, the deceitful actions during the appointment of the new Principal of Uduvil Girls’ College (UGC).

As a private school there are no legal restrictions for a Principal of UGC to serve beyond the age of 60. Former Principals of this school have served for more than 60 years. For example, Dr. SelviChelliah was 68 years when she retired from the school in 2004. We consider the decision taken by the School Board and committee of JD CSI, to not extend the term of Mrs. Shiranee Mills, who has served the school faithfully as Principal for the last 12 years, a deeply damaging decision for the school and students. The school has functioned well under the leadership of Mrs. Mills in both educational and extra-curricular activities. It is remarkable that under the leadership of Mrs. Shiranee Mills, as women and students, they have gained the courage to question the authoritative mindset of a patriarchal society that tries to suppress women within the family and in the society. As parents we appreciate the contribution of Mrs. Mills towards the students’ personal development.

We regret the manner in which the Church of South India forcefully obtained the retirement of Mrs. Shiranee Mills. The administrators of the Church of South India themselves requested her to reapply for the post of Principal in June. A verbal promise was given by the Bishop of the church that her term would be extended. The Bishop had said this to Mrs. Suneetha Jebaratnam, who has now assumed duties as the new Principal. Further, Mrs. Jebaratnam herself had conveyed to the students , “if in the case Mrs. Mills’ extension is not given, I along with my daughter will also join the struggle to bring Mrs. Mills back.” Those who are linked to the church and the new leadership of the school have not only misled Mrs. Shiranee Mills, but also the students in such a deceitful manner. As parents we strongly condemn such dishonesty. The administration of a popular school behaving in such a manner, had led to producing a negative image for the school.
Members of the selection committee, consisting of Mrs. Savithri Sumanthiran, Ms. Vijula Arulanantham, Mrs. Suganthi Vairasinghe and Dr. Alexander Jesuthasan from India have knowingly or unknowingly supported such dishonest actions. The students who were engaged in a peaceful, non-violent struggle against such dishonest practices, were attacked by the teachers and a priest. We condemn all such attacks against the students.

UGC has been faced with many disciplinary problems for the last few years. Some of the male and female teachers and some hostel staff were involved in offensive behaviour. A few Male teachers have attempted to punish female students through inappropriate means. As such the students’ have faced psychological trauma.

The students and parents are all well aware that when such matters were brought to the attention of the former Principal Mrs. Shiranee Mills and when she resorted to stern action against the perpetrators, it was the newly appointed principal Mrs. Suneetha Jebaratnam (former vice principal) and the newly appointed vice principal Mrs. Jeevananthini Amalathaas who have attempted to prevent her from taking severe action against the perpetrators. By their attitude of seeing and yet pretending to not have seen, the church too has assisted those who have been committing wrongful acts. Students fear studying under the administration of two such persons who have failed to take action against the wrongful acts. As parents we understand the reasonable fear of the students. Shiranee Mills was seen as the only leader within the school whom the children could approach with their problems, and who could provide them a safe environment for learning. This is also one of the main reasons for the children to wish for Mrs. Shiranee Mills to continue as principal and wage a struggle.

We would like to point out that the interference of the Church of South India is greatly affecting the wellbeing of the school. Priests from the Church, their family members and relatives have been appointed as teachers of the school. Appointment of teachers to the school is being used as an attractive perk for priests and members who formally left and joined the newly formed Church of the American Mission, to draw them back to the Church of South India. The authority of the principal to appoint teachers was curtailed and the wimps and fancies of the church have become the deciding force of these appointments. It is due to such interference of the church a section of the teachers who now serve in the school are found to have unfit educational and professional qualifications. We fear that this situation will further deteriorate after the removal of Mrs. Shiranee Mills. Further, it may lead to a complete decline of the school’s standard.
About 90% of the students of UGC are followers of the Hindu religion. However, there is no place for them to worship. We consider the refusal of a place of worship as a problem.

Following the week-long, non-violent struggle by the students of UGC, the committee of the UGC Parents’ Association met for a discussion from morning till noon on 12.09.2016(Monday) with Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Thiagarajah, Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. We explained the three demands to be fulfilled in order to find a solution to the immediate crisis and other urgent matters to the Bishop during the meeting.

The demands we put forward are as follows:

1. Extend the term of Mrs. Shiranee Mills, who is accepted by the students and parents, by another 2 years
2. Conduct an independent investigation and disciplinary action on those who attacked the students who were engaged in the week-long, non-violent struggle
3. The administration must not take revenge on the students who were involved in the non-violent struggle. Such revengeful actions which have started and are continuing must be stopped immediately

While rejecting the first demand, the bishop said he would accept the other two demands. Although the Bishop requested us to trust him, the past actions of the church and the past actions of those who have been appointed to the school’s leadership do not give us any confidence. If this problem is to be solved, as an interim measure, Mrs. Shiranee Mills must be appointed again as the Principal. Further, a new management Board must be appointed, with members who can be accountable to the students, parents, alumni and society, as a way of saving the school from the clutches of the church. Such a move can enable the democratization of the school as well as ensuring the school’s standard is raised in the future.

But Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Thiagarajah, Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India conducted a press meeting on the same day evening. According to the media reports which quoted the version of the Bishop published on the following day (13.09.2016 Tuesday) it seemed that he tried to manipulate the manner in which UGC Parents’ Association with serious and urgent concerns and worries had had a two hour long discussion with him.

In the press meeting He did not suggest any practical approach or mechanism to fulfill the requests of parents which includes doing an independent inquiry on past and recent abusive behaviors by a few male teachers towards students and on the attack done against the students during the one week long non-violent struggle, stopping revenge on the students and reforming the school’s staff & making it professional, ethical and disciplined.

We also strongly condemn the statement made by one of the staff namely Mr.Sam in a Jaffna based Weekly named ‘’Puthu Vithi”(page 07) on 17th September 2016(Saturday). Our daughters’ one week long non- violent struggle is extremely disrespected and despised by him in the statement. Even after the promises made by the Bishop that the non-violent strugglers (students) would not meet any revenge from the newly appointed administration and staff, Mr Sam behaved in an indecent manner which severely disturbs the healing process and reconciliation efforts of UGC Parents Association and reflects the unethical and unprofessional approach of JDCSI, newly appointed administration and Mr. Sam towards the students who have already been affected by them.

We bring these concerns and demands to the attention of the His Excellency The President of the Government of Sri Lanka, Members of Parliament, Ministers, honourable Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council(NPC), Board of Ministers of NPC, Members of the NPC, Opposition leader of the NPC, leaders of the church and society, intellectuals, professionals , concerned Tamil diaspora, journalists, social groups and the Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.

Until relevant investigations, adequate structural changes, administrative reforms and a safe environment, both physical and psychological, are ensured for the students, we are prepared to continue our discussions with His Excellency The President of the Government of Sri Lanka, l Members of Parliament, Ministers, honourable Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Board of Ministers of NPC, Members of the NPC, Opposition leader of the NPC, leaders of the church and society, intellectuals, professionals, concerned Tamil diaspora, journalists, social groups and the Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.

We request that before our parents decide to send their daughters to the school all parents should be alert and aware of the critical situation in and around the school, until a physically and mentally safe environment is ensured. .

Christi Alexis (President) Thayaparan, Kanaganayagam Valethanchan (Secretary)

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Latest comments

  • 8
    3

    Appointment as principal of any school, depends on age, qualifications, and experience in similar or related posts.
    Strangely, these attributes of former, immediate past and present principals are not mentioned.

    Children of a school cannot decide the appointment of teachers and principals of any school – this does not happen anywhere.

    • 4
      0

      Yes, Sri Lanka needs MERITOCRACY to be a guiding principle for job recruitment, rather than political connections and cronyism or castism as happens in both Tamil and Sinhala and Muslim communities today.

      This means qualifications, skills and experience as well as age (proximity to children and youth) should be the criteria for selection of all professionals in state and non-state sector.

    • 3
      0

      We need OBJECTIVE criteria to decide on the principle. Not politically motivated diatribes as seems to be the case here.

      1) qualifications
      2) skills
      3) experience
      4) age and gender appropriate criteria.

    • 5
      2

      Children of a school cannot decide the appointment of teachers and principals of any school – this does not happen anywhere

      I think they have discussed their issues in the wrong way.

      They should have discussed how corruption, dishonesty, unqualified teachers etc., have affected their education and life in the school. during that they should have rpesented how the transfer of the princaipal affected the school.

      Besides, this letter is by a no-name journalist. So, it may be from the another camp too.

    • 2
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      Uduvil Girls College Issue. It is so sad and disgusting to see that the Bishop or any one else had the decency to listen to the grievances of the students, that is legitimate as well considering the circumstances that emancipated the whole issues particularly of abuse female students.
      Being bishop for the respectable sect of people, A Bishop is duty bound to heal the dishearten section of stakeholders of the school by means of explaining and preaching rather resorting to violence and threatening, in order to grab the full control of “Money Laundering” of funds pumped into by switching to Church of the American Ceylon Mission of Boston base from Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JD CSI). This is the core issue the Alumni and Parents of UGC are against and apprehensive of, probably of change of sect and religions.
      All what they want is a principal who is efficient and capable and she had proved herself as a very capable leader. This being a private school, extension could be easily granted beyond 60 years and it has been done before too. Instead the Bishop and his supporters, for the above reasons, resorted to violence and shamelessly attacked the female students.
      Even a Catholic Church Diocese which is looked upon as inferior by this new sect wouldn’t have resorted to this type of 3rd grade rowdyism to retch control of money transferred from Boston or from elsewhere by the name board of Education. How can they be of religious people and they are a disgrace to the entire sect of followers. The so-called Bishop’s board is totally warped and filled with some body’s some body and they are there to protect their interests and absolutely to cover the wrong doings that are of leading to spoiling the entire future of female students.
      Mr Sumanthiran you are burning your fingers and making a fool of yourself. The Bishop had no honour and fearful of failing the retching process to visit the students and to discuss with them was very keen to plant a puppet so that their wrong doings and manipulations may go unchecked.
      Jaffna is just trying to recover from long years of war and now they have to wage a war against a New Sect of Church from America off JD CSI which appears a worse dictatorship than Sinhala Regime under Rajapaksha.
      Thiyagaraja and his team must think at greater interest of Tamils and the community and even religious harmony in general instead of their very selfish short sighted interests. This may create a new crisis among Tamils and thus they may have to face a new enemy so that the clock will once again put back. My view is that the students agitation is very legitimate and the government must take some action to check on the credibility of this present Board of Management which have appointed several rouges as teachers who are in the process of satisfying their indecent desires by the name of punishment, and seeking indecent opportunists to discharge their such vulgarities, So why not this board that is so keen to chase out a principal who is strongly against those vulgar patriarchal acts and who has found that the proper education for all is the key and acted upon for that goal be dismantled for the popular wish.

  • 2
    10

    Dishonesty, corruption, Violence against students, Dictatorship, lies – all looks like how the Almighty god behaved during the history of Vatican.

    It looks this school needs a full overhaul of the managmenet system, need to get rid of unqualified people and people who are not behaving like mentors instead like dictators.

    Why Maithriapala Sirisena is not taking action (students gave a letter to him). Is the church – almighty’s wish powerful than the education of hundred of students ?

    There is a NPC. They should have an education minsiter.Is the minister busy in establishing homeland and not looking after schools or is he another dumb-ass thieves like those in the south?

    Another option is nationalize the school and make it a govt school. I think, there are good govt schools in Jaffna.

    • 10
      3

      Jim Shitty – Dishonesty, corruption, Violence against students, Dictatorship, lies – all looks like how the Almighty god behaved during the history of Vatican?

      Idiot firstly no one cares to take advise from a low life racist scum like you. Secondly, the CSI is a branch of the Anglican mission not the Catholic church, therefore no affiliation with the Vatican – moron at least take the time to understand the organizational structure before you spew out the rubbish. Thirdly, all of this garbage is written by a racist pariah who carries a Christian name and lives to be against Christianity.

      So my reply is for you to screw off bastard!!!!

      • 1
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        Tamil of the North:

        You really show that you are low caste Dalit. You are big mouth cos’ you are in Canada. In Jaffna, you are a Dalit who is only seen but not heard.

        Anyway, what now I understand is completely a different picture. AMC is american – old catholic. Tamil Catholic church Anglican ?

        The head of the anglican church is a woman of a dysfunctional family. Their husbands are womanizers, adulteros and the anglican church had tunnels built to the nunnery so that Father can meet the nun.

        Donkey, christianity has about 40,000 denominations. this one is mixed.

        Besides, Church is corrupt. It is a private school, they say. but it is AMC and the church funded.

        Most probably, you have a name from the middle east eventhough you boast about Tamil which is the langiage that unite you different castes.

        • 3
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          Jim Shitty, the racist pariah scum from the south, firstly it will be rare for you to find a dalit amongst the Anglicans, 2nd of all I do not have any issues with decent Sinhalese but I have issues with pariah racist dogs like you because you should be exterminated, thirdly you need to learn the English language well enough for you to form a few sentences on CT you scum bag, fourthly you need to f**k off. Buddha never called himself God, it is a philosophy numb nut. Dumb f*&k the Arch Bishop of Canterbury (Church of England) is a man not a woman you fu&*tard. Anglican pastors are allowed to marry unlike the Catholic priests. So your information about the woman and her dysfunctional family is false just all other garbage you write bit*h. Christianity does not have 40,000 denominations, this is something you cooked up in your vacuum head you pig. So as I said before, why don’t you fu&k off bitch and do us all a favor???

      • 1
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        Tamil from the north – A typica Low Cast Dalit.

        • 2
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          Jim Shitty you are nothing but a whore who prostitutes himself on behalf of racism. You will bend forward and back to accommodate racist policies. You are absolutely a big nothing!!!!!!

    • 2
      1

      “There is a NPC. They should have an education minsiter.Is the minister busy in establishing homeland and not looking after schools or is he another dumb-ass thieves like those in the south?”

      The education minister of NPC Hon. Thambyrajah is also a strong member of the Church of South India (CSI).

  • 5
    5

    justice
    The Statement is by the “Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association”

    The long serving Principal was sacked AKA retired during term holidays.In this case the students were deprived of giving a farewell to the long serving Principal

    this also does not happen anywhere.

    • 5
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      Justice – The girls can still call her on a week end and give her a
      farewell, if she deserves one. Am sure, the Parents’ association has
      a bigger say in this school and they can decide, failing,call the CM
      or minister for Education, NPC and arrange the farewell. This school
      is one of the oldest and respected school in Jaffna and the past
      students and well wishers of the school will not like the idea of
      their school being dragged into a unwarranted scandal.

      • 0
        3

        Lanka Watch – you are missing the point.
        Its not just giving her a farewell and have a tamasha.

        Remember this is Girls School not Boys School.
        Boys wont give a hoot.
        and further …she was sacked AKA retired during school holidays.
        No communications were made on the last day of end of term that she will be retired.

        Imagine the girls return to the school and find that their beloved Principle is not there and to be told that the Principle was Sacked AKA Retired by one faction of the Church.
        Imagine the mental trauma their shock.

        Is this how you manage communication..

        After Thirty years of war we all talk about reconciliation. But what is required as a matter of urgency is Trauma management.

        All Sri Lankans are Traumatised or mentally scarred. Not just the war widows, incapacitated soldiers, orphans, refugees, incapacitated children, on both side of the divide.

        But..People in the power chain , from bottom of the ladder to the top whether in politics or education or civil administration or private sector as well

        They think they can ride rough shod over anything and get away.

        After thirty years of war the country as a whole is Traumatised.

        • 2
          0

          Mrs. Mills was terminated in 2010, and she went to courts, but even the court accepted the decision to terminate. But, as there were no law and order in Jaffna, with the backing of EPDP she continued occupy the position.

          Rajash, I think the board was too kind, and done much more than what she deserves. And wasn’t revealing the above facts for her benefit.

          You know very well, how the private companies perform the termination, they give you the termination letter, a card board box to put your belongings, and the security will lead you to the exit door. It’s That simple.

          But, here you want to give big farewells. Common give us a break.

  • 1
    1

    Indira Ghandi, Rajiv Ghandi, IPKF, LTTE training, IOC, “black cats”, e damned ETCA and now the Indian Church !! I am a believing Christian but I wish we can “float away” about 500 miles from this …… continent of India. JR said, “I am lover of India”. He can have it.

  • 0
    6

    Dear Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association,

    There are about a dozen schools that “belong” to the “Anglican Church” in Ceylon, and many of them have problems. You have appealed to all sorts of people in authority in the civil administration of your Province and your Country but you must necessarily indicate according to what regulations the school is supposed to be governed.

    I have been contributing to a number of blogs on the problems of your school using the pseudonym “Sinhala_Man”. My understanding of your problems is hampered by my not knowing Tamil, but owing to my efforts to unravel the problems of four S. Thomas’ Schools I may be able to offer you some insights.

    Everybody likes to think that they are “special” and we, at S. Thomas’ are no exception! However, I think that we are the only school that has “dedicated legislation”:

    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/04_STC_Board_of_Governors_Ordinance.pdf

    The original legislation here is by the Legislative Council of Ceylon in 1930; the revision of 1956 must necessarily have been by the Parliament of Ceylon. I’m giving you a link that will yield you 9 pages of legalese, but don’t bother to read all that! If a lawyer can provide fresh insights, please share with me! Let me summarise:

    This school came in to existence in 1851; it was called “Bishop’s College” for a couple of years, and was in Mutwal. In 1918, it moved to Mt Lavinia. In 1942, a branch school was established in a rather remote village, Gurutalawa, in Uva. In 1956, two other Branch schools were acquired from Mr W.T. Keble who had come originally to the Mt Lavinia school. He left Sri Lanka in 1956, having sold the schools in Colpetty, and in Bandarawela.

    Up to 1930, the Bishop of Colombo ran the schools. What the legislation did was to give him a “Board of Governors” to assist him in running the schools. Two things are very relevant still:

    FIRSTLY: “The Bishop (of Colombo) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Board of Governors.” There were eight other members in 1930: nine in all. It was possible to add more members, but there is

    SECONDLY, Section 3.1: “Provided that at least eighty per centum of the members of the board shall be members of the Church of England in Ceylon or of a Church in communion with that Church.”

    Today, there are 15 members, and 12 must necessarily be “Anglicans” (for practical purposes let me say that members of four other Protestant Churches can come in). Only 3 can be “non-Anglican” and that will include members of the Roman Catholic Church). There isn’t usually a problem with those three, but there has for decades now been a great deal of hair splitting about the “Anglicanism” of the 12.

    These provisions can be changed only by an Act of Parliament. The percentage, religion-wise, is what is fixed – at 80% Anglican.

    The Board of Governors itself has made a set of “Rules” for itself, and can change them as is necessary, while adhering to the Ordinance.

    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/05_Rules_of_STC_Board_of_Governors.pdf

    And now there are 15 Members of the Board:

    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/06_Members_of_Board_of_Governors.pdf

    That list, I’m afraid is inaccurate (shall we say “out of date”), and it is just not possible to find a correct list on any website or publication. You will find it tiresome if I try to explain: to know who the 15 are, please substitute Mr Channa Asela de Silva for Prof. Amal S. Kumarage.

    What I am now saying is uncontroversial, and will NOT be challenged:

    Five members are “elected”, and the rest basically appointed by the Bishop. Of the five, numbers 3 and 4, represent the OBA of the Mt Lavinia school. They were elected, from among six candidates, in an impeccably conducted poll at Mt Lavinia, where I also voted.

    HERE COME THE PROBLEMS:

    The staffs of the Branch schools are required to elect one member. Please study Rule 1.5.3 in that 2nd link to the Internet.

    (a) The election shall be by secret ballot
    (b) The persons nominated for election shall be members of the respective Old Boys’ Associations.
    (c) The members of the staffs of the four schools shall not be eligible for nomination or election.
    (d) The candidates for election shall be members of the Church of Ceylon or of a Church in communion with that church.

    And who was to do the electing?: Rule 1.5.2.:

    One person (i.e. the Board of Governors Member) elected by an electoral college under the Chairmanship of the Hony. Secretary of the Board of Governors consisting of representatives of the Staff made up as follows:

    Two from the tutorial and administrative staffs of each of the Branch schools at Gurutalawa, Bandarawela and Kollupitiya

    Gurutalawa did more or less the right thing in early February 2016. The Headmaster, Rev. Nihal Fernando has to be credited with doing his best. He held a secret ballot after school one day. The Headmaster at Kollupitiya (Colpetty, Colombo 3), Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo, didn’t even pretend to be democratic – but please get details from Colpetty comments that followed the publication of my articles. My personal knowledge is limited.

    In Bandarawela, Uva, I live close to the school and I had discussed the election for months (no, years, really!) with the Headmaster, Rev. Christopher Balraj. In the end, he cheated and it got known, owing to a variety of reasons. My being there was only one factor.

    Basically, these two Headmasters argued that there had to be a secret ballot only on the day the six delegates finally met in the presence of the Secretary to the Board of Governors (his name is Mr Rajan Asirwatham, but that doesn’t matter!). The voting took place on the 15th of March 2016, at Colpetty. The delegates were quislings of the Headmasters, and the man elected was NOT KNOWN to the teachers in the schools, to be a candidate.

    The Headmasters claim that they can select the Staff Representative. That despite this: “Where the Head of the School is also the President of the Old Boys’ Association, the Senior Vice President will serve on the electoral college in place of the President.”

    However, that is stated in relation to the OBA BoG Member.

    Surely, this is getting too long! All this has been written and discussed thoroughly in three articles – which are linked to each other. May I suggest that readers start by looking at the SECOND which is the easiest to follow:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-whited-thomian-sepulchres-the-pharisees-who-cheat/

    and the THIRD is here, but may confuse because it was written for those familiar with what had happened:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/

    I had written politely to all three Headmasters, starting November 2015. I met them all, spoke quietly. I met the Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey at a confirmation service in Haputale on the 24th of January 2016, and asked only one thing of him: that a proper election be held. He smiled: was it in agreement, or was he smirking that he would have his own way?

    After the elections, I have asked repeatedly for interviews with the Bishop – humbly sticking only to e-mails and to text messages to his mobile phone. He says he has no time; once he emailed saying that he was going abroad. Where will this end, and how? I do not know.

    The schools: they appear to run “normally”, but the teachers – obviously disgusted with the cynical manipulation. I can understand their not protesting, they are vulnerable; but Sri Lankans all must protest – peacefully please, but it must be firmly, if it is to be effective.

    • 3
      3

      Now Anglican Church is bankrupt.

      govt should nationalize these schools.

      If not these students should ask the govt to take over the school.

      I think most of the Christian – Tamils (dalits) writing here are against these Hindu girls having a proper education.

      • 2
        0

        Jim, its ideas like this that makes problems worse! Tell me, are you fully satisfied with the performance of the government owned and operated schools??

      • 3
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        Jim softy, please be sensible, because of this church only all religious students are able to get better education. And don’t discourage the people who are doing good service.

        • 0
          0

          Easwaran, you should never plead with this Jim Shitty scumbag. You need to put this pariah in his place. Tell him to f off. He is a low class racist low life garbage.

    • 2
      2

      Panini,

      Thank you for your comments and articles. I intend to send you an e-mail.

      “You have appealed to all sorts of people in authority in the civil administration of your Province and your Country but you must necessarily indicate according to what regulations the school is supposed to be governed.”

      Exactly! UGC is a totally private school founded by protestant missionaries from the USA. 70% of the funding still comes from the USA (Trustees for Jaffna College in Boston, MA) and the rest from fees (admission and annual fee) from the parents or donations from former students who should not be described as “old girls”! I believe that Jaffna College has a similar structure.

      As I mentioned elsewhere the politicians and government servants in my humble opinion have absolutely no legal way to influence UGC and CSI. The police and child protection can and should investigate the alleged abuse. The alleged fraud and corruption also can be investigated by the police.

      Voluntary change can not be expected from the inbred CSI/ UGC/Jaffna College community. Most of the dissidents have left these institutions or forced into silence.

      • 0
        8

        Dear Lone Wolf,

        I’m sure that in practice no “government official” will interfere with the running of the school. However it is recognised by the government, and some teachers are pensionable; is that correct? If so, it is one of 80 Private Schools that must adhere to certain “rules” set forth in a piece of 1983 legislation. That legislation is not without teeth, however. It resulted in a three member Supreme Court judgement (very well written by Justice Deheragoda). I don’t think it’s available for free on the Internet but I could send you a soft copy, if you do indeed email me. There the BoG of S. Thomas’ lost the case. Eksith Fernando could not be Warden since he lacked 10 years’ teaching experience. The objection that was upheld was not from the Old Boys, but from a parent, Ananda Manawadu (whose schooling had been in Dharmashoka, Ambalangoda).

        To “interfere” government servants must KNOW something: The Director, Private Schools Branch, Ministry of Education, Isurupaya, Battaramulla.

        International Schools have to fend for themselves; they are regarded as businesses, NOT schools. SOME of them obviously understand “Education” better than the government does. I have made the distinction in something I said in relation to an “Uduvil article” – there have been so many!

        Yes, non-Anglicans come in to the school because they see the ethos of the school as a positive. Some Anglican schools get prospective parents to sign saying that they know that certain “Anglican things” happen in the school. Nobody is going to “convert” them, and they can sit one of the FIVE religion papers (there is one specifically for Roman Catholics) at O. Levels, and be taught it, but they cannot opt out of school functions that have a religious component (e.g. a Christmas Carol Service).

        On the other hand, it would be well for the Church to understand that there has to be a respectful symbiotic relationship between the Christian Administration and the “Heathens” (that is tongue in cheek! It is a prohibited word nowadays).

        (Power failure!)

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          Panini,

          I have been thinking about these “Anglican cases” and re-reading your comments.

          “I’m sure that in practice no “government official” will interfere with the running of the school. However it is recognised by the government, and some teachers are pensionable; is that correct? If so, it is one of 80 Private Schools that must adhere to certain “rules” set forth in a piece of 1983 legislation.”

          You are correct.

          I have been informed of the fact that the teachers (all of them? including the non qualified ones?) are government approved, some receive pensions and others EPF.

          This very likely means that there is possibly a case for government “monitoring and supervision” and further action if somebody reaches the correct authority with enough information to initiate action.

          Can you mail me the rules of 1983? I will try to send my e-mail address later today.

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          `Mischief making mice` eat Waved Albatross Chicks while the mum has to go very far sometimes days looking for food. So WWF drops sulphur in the island that destroys only mice. You know sulphur makes gunpowder. Now you know what is good for you to bite?

          (The waved albatross breeds primarily on Española Island in the Galápagos archipelago; and are one of the earliest birds on this planet. Birds are the earliest inhabitants before man himself so even India’s say no one’s father or mother owns the land) kisi ka bap ka jaga neh he- Sinha_le panni alu porrata)

          Generally they say women gossip but not all women do.
          school teacher P.E.- gossip a lot and work on hear say.
          Generally St Thomas chuck out -`Mischief making mice` like any other missionary school in the island.

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        Dear Lone Wolf,

        To continue:

        As far as I know, the Private Schools are all “religious”. I don’t think that the Hindus have any; the Muslims have Zahira College, Maradana. Not many Buddhist Private Schools; I can think only of Buddhist Ladies’ College (opposite the Colombo Town Hall), and Sujatha Vidyalaya. Both are more or less family owned. Most Private Schools are Catholic, and the Protestants have, perhaps fifteen. Those are their religious affiliations, but what is healthy is that they ALL admit children of other faiths as well. Well, I’m not sure about Zahira.

        Among the Christians, the Catholics alone have sufficient numbers (close to 1.5 million) to maintain the schools. But they wisely admit a few non-Catholics. I’m sure that such a policy is healthy; the children grow up with some friends who are different.

        Kumaran and Easwaran are right. The Private Schools are better run than those operated by the government, and even the “International Schools”. So, there is pressure for admission, but (as yet!) hardly any corruption. As a result, the position today is that discipline can be maintained. If a student has to be sacked, there will be five others waiting to come in. But will this always be so?

        It is, as I have said, inconceivable right now that these schools will be short of students. But should this be a reason for “The Authorities” to be arrogant? And I’m not very sure about “ownership”. It is the S. Thomas’ Schools that I know best. No, neither the Anglican Church in general, nor the Bishop, nor the Board of Governors, actually OWNS the schools. Really, nobody OWNS the schools; in a sense the various stake-holders own them. It may be that a lawyer will say that each school is “an Incorporated Body”. In the case of S. Thomas’ there are four schools incorporated together. And they lost a Supreme Court case in the 2000; lost it to a Buddhist parent. However, the judgement makes it clear that the parent was granted relief because his child was really the ultimate stake holder.

        You will have to ask a lawyer to interpret all this, but I like the idea of thinking that the school “belongs” to the current students (although heaven forbid that they think of running the school!) Some Past Pupils Associations imagine that they are the owners; no, such Associations are “Unincorporated Bodies”. Legal actions can be filed against the schools, but NOT against OBAs.

        So, really, nobody should think that they OWN the school. A bit of a philosophical problem; as for me, I think that there are certain Rules. Let each stakeholder follow the rules, and NOT try to rule! Sounds like quibbling, doesn’t it? Beware! Don’t let lawyers profit from all this. What society needs is institutions that admit children and send out decent adults in to the world. I have no glib cut and dry solution to suggest. This is why I say, just study the Regulations, try to understand their rationale, and act fairly.

        The founders of these schools were not driven by a desire for profit of for power. S. Thomas’ was founded by Bishop Chapman, the First Bishop of Colombo in 1851. He was appointed in 1845. Before that, the Bishop was in Calcutta.

        What was Anglicanism like at that time? I’m no scholar of Christianity, but I think that this hymn by Bishop Heber of Calcutta both conveys the spirit of the early missionaries, and has what might be termed a useful insight in to Ceylon! It is beautifully sung here:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7DNoPsMWL4

        The words are there too. Let the spirit and the words be discussed so that we may help fashion a future for our children!

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          EMOTIONS TRAILING A LOST HUMOUR IN FLOWERS FANGS AND IN SEARCH OF SOLACE TAKING REFUGE AT RANDOM…

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            Hello,

            The time is 11.39 a.m. in Sri Lanka. I put that last comment on at 2.43 a.m. I know all this is edited in London, so thought it would take time to appear. Thanks CT for putting it on almost immediately, because “Grease Yakka” has commented at 3.20 a.m.

            Strange, six people had already “disliked” my pretty non-controversial comments half an hour ago, three have already given green thumbs up (i.e. “like”) for Grease Yakka’s comment – which says what?

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              You lost your marbles, not to understand. Now know your mind!

              (Lord Byron) — ‘Those who will not reason, are bigots,
              those who cannot, are fools,
              and those who dare not, are slaves.’

              Nanabhoy “Nani” Ardeshir Palkhivala had the same intergrity whether at politics or as a politician. GGP had the same. Unlike Kairshasp Nariman Choksy, who supported Basil Rajapakse(his daughter married to bombay woman) Every lawyer reads Nani books on law of evidence including GLP)
              He was of refugee stock and started as clerk but he explained what is Dharma and all 13 SC judges went against dictator Indra Gandhi.
              Choksy (milking the cow) was the first to go against CJ removal- parliament over judiciary.
              Enjoy MR1 – MR2 you would only create MR3 and keep complaining until you pass away- its your character.

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          Sinhala_Man,

          Thank you for your replies and the information.

          “To “interfere” government servants must KNOW something: The Director, Private Schools Branch, Ministry of Education, Isurupaya, Battaramulla”

          Thank you for the address. I hope that the parents and students of Uduvil and Jaffna College, CSI critics and the Trustees for Jaffna College have also found it.

          Hopefully the police and child protection will do something about the alleged violence against the UGC girls.

          “Kumaran and Easwaran are right. The Private Schools are better run than those operated by the government, and even the “International Schools”. So, there is pressure for admission, but (as yet!) hardly any corruption. As a result, the position today is that discipline can be maintained. If a student has to be sacked, there will be five others waiting to come in. But will this always be so? It is, as I have said, inconceivable right now that these schools will be short of students.”

          Unfortunately I disagree. What I hear from friends and relatives in Jaffna is that due to the low quality of education the number of students of Jaffna College has decreased by 30-40% during the last years. The number of the students paying full fees is likely to be even more affected. It might be similar for UGC, St John’s, Chundukuli and St Patrick’s.

          There are good provincial and national schools in Jaffna.

          I cannot comment on schools in other areas.

          Many have commented here on the lack of quality, fraud, corruption, nepotism and the physical attacks on the UGC girls.

          Has UGC homepage possibly been taken offline? I think that there was one but was unable to find it yesterday.

          Jaffna College and Uduvil have a Board of Directors. Apparently members are appointed or approved by the Bishop expect for one elected member from PPAs. The appointed members are not likely to oppose the Bishop.

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    Mr Sumanthiran suggests that Shirnaee Mills herself posted ‘invitation to apply’ for the Principal position with her signature in June.

    /UGC has been faced with many disciplinary problems for the last few years. Some of the male and female teachers and some hostel staff were involved in offensive behaviour. A few Male teachers have attempted to punish female students through inappropriate means. As such the students’ have faced psychological trauma. The students and parents are all well aware that when such matters were brought to the attention of the former Principal Mrs. Shiranee Mills and when she resorted to stern action against the perpetrators, it was xxx who have attempted to prevent her from taking severe action against the perpetrators./

    So, what action did she manage to take? If she couldn’t take any action, what did the parents do? If still took some action, why didn’t she expose those who put obstacles? Either way, where are those people with corrupt and/or offensive behaviours?

    It is easy to through blanket accusations, but you should be able to back them up.

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    Is there a pension scheme for all private, especially church schools’ employees?
    If there is none, not even a retiring gratuity, this may be the cause of trying to serve long after the compulsory retiring age (60) of public servants.
    If there is no such scheme, this needs immediate correction.

    Public servants have, a Widows'(contributory)Pension Scheme and,lately, a Widowers’ Pension Scheme.

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      Yes, there is a pension scheme. But not for ALL the teachers: the “eligible” (well known word in the schools!) staff only. Depends on number on roll, qualifications, and being favourites of the Establishment. This was introduced by J.R. Jayawardena by about 1978. After 1962, until 1977, the “non-fee levying” Catholic and Methodist private schools really suffered (remember the “Christian coup”!).

      I’m not sure what the status of Uduvil (and other Jaffna schools) is. Most large Anglican schools opted to be “fully-private” around 1950, and so S. Thomas’, Ladies, Bishops etc + St Bridget’s had no major financial problems. They levies fees throughout. Even their “eligible” staff get pensions now. Service after the age of 60 doesn’t contribute to pensions. I’m fairly certain of this.

      “Justice”, you are a dear! I put in 29 years in the Education Dept proper (and a few years elsewhere). With an aging population, we old codgers must die off: it is an economic necessity. I worked as hard as I could to get Maithri elected (never met him!). Teachers in service have got Rs 10,000 extra per month; I’ve been given only Rs 1,000 per month.

      Looked at objectively, what Maithri has been saying is true: our pension bill is just too high! Younger people have to be paid more – else they migrate (or sadly, still dream futilely of migrating to white countries – and often without any knowledge of English).

      To get back to your question: no not for ALL church school employees; so teachers become servile creatures.

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        Sinhala_Man,

        Earlier up to about the sixties, state teachers, were allowed to retire with a pension, after 20 years service – there was a Teachers Pensions Department near the old parliament.

        I do not know if this 20 years rule for teachers still exists.

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          Justice, you say: ” up to about the sixties” – the 1960s? How old are you?

          No, I think you’d best get this from somebody in a Zonal Education Office. It won’t be difficult finding out. Very few know about “Private Schools”, that’s why I ventured a comment.

          Retirement after 20 years was usually for women. For men, perhaps only after getting medically condemned. This is the sort of knowledge that most clerks are familiar with.

          The trend now is to reduce pensions!

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      I’m making this a deliberately separate comment.

      It was not only “Christian Schools” that were taken over in 1962. Comrade Dr Vickremabahu Karunaratne once told me proudly that in his day Ananda College was NOT a government school: it was Buddhist.

      I’m pretty fed up with organised religion myself, but I hope you get the point. Today everything is drab and boringly centred on syllabi. THEN, my father was an inspiring teacher who taught with passion and commitment. Possibly, I KNOW more, but what’s the use?

      However, make no mistake: pre-1948, education in the vernacular schools could get you nowhere. Oh! You could have been a contented “goviya”.

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    Old Girls

    Summa has organised the sack -He is good at this .He is so good that he has got his family involved in this.But Summa is an Honorable man .and a Methodist to boot.How the heck did he get involved in the CSI pie?

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      Long time no hear, Liverpool Sudda!

      You see the parallels, no doubt.

      Esto Perpetua!

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    Dear Parents teachers association president and secretary, you’ll should have stood at the gate and done the protest, instead of encouraging innocent students to protest and spoiling their studies. Dear Directors of the drama, please be more responsible.

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      Yes, and involving minors in protests isn’t acceptable. University students can as they are majors.

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    It is sad to note that Colombo Telegraph seems to be reporting on the UGC protest of the Principal’s retirement on a biased basis. I would request your website for a balanced reporting as the CT readers seem to be confused being unaware of all the facts.

    Here is another article with more accurate details written by Dharisha Bastian today.

    http://www.ft.lk/article/568807/Sumanthiran-hits-out-at-critics-as-calls-continue-for-headmistress–reinstatement.

    As parents associations continued to push for the reinstatement of retired principal Shiranee Mills at Uduvil Girls’ College (UGC), TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran broke his silence on the controversy surrounding the elite Christian girls’ school in Jaffna last weekend, denying allegations of interference the thorny issue and claiming that the crisis was being exploited by political opponents seeking to discredit him.

    “There has been a lot of political interference in this matter, but not from me. That is the truth. I did not get into matters related to the new principal appointment or the retirement of the old principal,” Sumanthiran asserted during a press conference in Jaffna over the weekend.

    The Jaffna District MP has come in for severe criticism over the UGC crisis, with parent associations, past pupils, academics supportive of Mills and members of his own party accusing him of political interference and abuse of power. Sumanthiran represented the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) which manages UGC in legal action during a major church split in 2005, and subsequently in a case involving Principal Mills in 2008-2009. The Diocese is now being accused of unfairly retiring Principal Mills at 60 years, when UGC principals have often served well over the age of 65.

    “Not a day went by without my name being mentioned in connection with the controversy,” the TNA Lawmaker told reporters.

    Sumanthiran said he would have been well within his rights to get involved in the issue in his capacity as legal counsel for the Diocese. “I could have done that but even in that capacity, I did not want to get involved,” the TNA MP said.

    In fact political interference had really come from people who were waiting for an opportunity to discredit him, Sumanthiran told reporters in Jaffna The crisis at Uduvil Girls’ College brought the fractured character of TNA politics to the fore, with the party’s hardliners who have little sympathy with the TNA’s moderates strongly supporting the students and the Mills faction, against the Bishop of the JDCSI who is believed to have had Sumanthiran’s sympathies.

    “All those people who are waiting, thinking ‘when will Sumanthiran’s name come up’ went running to the school during the protests to give interviews,” he added.

    The Jaffna District MP said he had been unwilling to speak on the issue because it pertained to the education of young people.

    “For this reason, I didn’t want to open my mouth even to say what I say is right, or that my position was the correct one, because it could affect the future of the students. So I kept silent in spite of the malicious campaign and false allegations against me,” Sumanthiran said during the news conference.

    He explained that he had appeared for the Bishop in 2008-2009 during Mills’ dismissal over alleged disciplinary problems. After the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the school management – in this case the Church – Sumanthiran said then Minister Douglas Devananda had intervened to have Mills’ reinstated.

    “Devananda took a battle tank and parked it in the school’s premises, held meetings there and in the same way stage managed a ‘student protest’. He pressured the school management to reinstate the dismissed principal,” Sumanthiran explained. “He was successful in that, and the success is recorded in EPDP news archives from 2009,” the TNA MP charged.

    Donald Gnanakone

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      You are right from the word go. They have messed it up not only for themselves but the island. They have lost the plot and gone for such a play.
      They should have restructured their complaint and applied for once again if they had problems- its total stupid 4th world politics.
      On two occasions the Scottish held the Crown for the English while the future Christian King came of age to rule. So they had a referendum but not the Irish who took to arms and then looked for justice.

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    Uduvil Girls’ College Parents’ Association,

    I am sorry for the delay. I cannot comment on the qualities of the previous and current principal but will comment on the rest.

    “They also said that the interference of the Church of South India has greatly affected the wellbeing of the school.”

    It is not interference it is ownership. The school was founded by foreign missionaries and continues to be mostly (70%) funded by the Trustees in USA and is administered by the Church of South India. Apparently the administration no longer meets the needs of the students and their parents.

    “About 90% of the students of UGC are followers of the Hindu religion. However, there is no place for them to worship. We consider the refusal of a place of worship as a problem.”

    Who has refused such a request and when? UGC belongs to a church and the parents of the Hindu girls must know how the school is and has been during its existence. It is totally voluntary to send daughters to UGC.

    “The students and parents are all well aware that when such matters were brought to the attention of the former Principal Mrs. Shiranee Mills and when she resorted to stern action against the perpetrators, it was the newly appointed principal Mrs. Suneetha Jebaratnam (former vice principal) and the newly appointed vice principal Mrs. Jeevananthini Amalathaas who have attempted to prevent her from taking severe action against the perpetrators. Conduct an independent investigation and disciplinary action on those who attacked the students who were engaged in the week-long, non-violent struggle

    Conduct an independent investigation and disciplinary action on those who attacked the students who were engaged in the week-long, non-violent struggle”

    How can you expect an independent inquiry when members of a literally inbred church control the place? Why don’t you make police complaints or/and contact child protection authorities? The internal investigations at schools and universities never have any positive result.

    “We bring these concerns and demands to the attention of the His Excellency The President of the Government of Sri Lanka, Members of Parliament, Ministers, honourable Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council(NPC), Board of Ministers of NPC, Members of the NPC, Opposition leader of the NPC, leaders of the church and society, intellectuals, professionals , concerned Tamil diaspora, journalists, social groups and the Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.”

    Except for the Bishop and Church of South India in Jaffna they have no legal power to interfere in the affairs of a private non assisted school. I agree with you that the situation is not acceptable but at the same time I oppose any political interference. I find it disgusting that all kinds of politicians who have nothing to do with UGC are trying to gain votes by showing their faces at the school.

    Have you approached the Trustees in the USA who finance the school? They are the ones with real power.

    “We request that before our parents decide to send their daughters to the school all parents should be alert and aware of the critical situation in and around the school, until a physically and mentally safe environment is ensured.”

    Yes. Sending daughters to UGC is voluntary. If you don’t like it there are other schools. It is a free choice.

    Why don’t you continue with civil disobedience? If you refuse or delay to pay the fees of the girls the school will run out of money and will have to listen to you. I assume that about 30 % of the funding comes from the parents. This can and should be used to put pressure on the Bishop and Church of South India.

    In addition I suggest that you co-operate with the parents of the students of Jaffna College who apparently face similar problems.

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      “”Have you approached the Trustees in the USA who finance the school? They are the ones with real power.””

      Administrative procedures do not work that way even you know someone high up.

      They have to follow procedure and that procedure is practiced even at government offices- It is over ridden with backhands or clout.

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        DeepCut,

        “Administrative procedures do not work that way even you know someone high up.”

        I don’t think that contacting Trustees for Jaffna College in Boston can be a major problem. If the students and parents want to do that they can. They must have met visitors from USA several times and know the names. Even I have found contact information online.

        My question is why do the Trustees who must know about the problems existing in the two schools they finance in Jaffna NOT act or don’t do enough? Of course the fact remains that due to lack of transparency we don’t know what has been going on.

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          “”My question is why do the Trustees who must know about the problems existing in the two schools they finance in Jaffna NOT act or don’t do enough?””
          Be objective:Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

          DISCIPLINE IS THE REASON PARENTS SEND KIDS TO MISSIONARY SCHOOLS.
          What they have done is a disgrace and being girls make it worse.We have never heard of this from girls. Ask your journo Darshana Bastian(pillai) if her convent at colombo ever went on strike.
          What happens in the UK ; overstayers is to ‘deport first, appeal later’.
          Antany Peter the nut on CT: Australian national was deported – appeal later.
          North does not have a reputation for discipline but terror and in such a situation to start it with we need principals term extended.- People must be mad to be taken for granted..
          Don’t rock the boat, comply, conform to.

          sorry mate I am no to give you advice but it’s the practice and even god won’t help them if they do not comply now that they have tarnished the name of school.

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    Lone wolf, please try to be some use to the society, now you want them to go on civil disobedience. Common…Now all is well, and let the students study.

    These donors to the school/ church are contributing their hard earned money and time, please don’t dishearten them by your sick comments.

    Even if we are not contributing anything useful, at least let’s appreciate those who are doing a great service to the society.

    And i feel we should wrap this subject and move on. And let everyone focus on their duties.

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      Haran,

      Thank you for your opinions.

      “Lone wolf, please try to be some use to the society, now you want them to go on civil disobedience. Common…Now all is well, and let the students study.”

      I hope that this is only the beginning of a clean up at the CSI and the institutions it controls. The problems are deeper than just the recent case of the principal of UGC. Of course many other institutions in Jaffna face similar problems.

      “These donors to the school/ church are contributing their hard earned money and time, please don’t dishearten them by your sick comments.”

      70 % of the UGC funds come from the USA and the rest from the parents and PPAs. What I have read and heard is that the CSI takes money from the schools instead of contributing.

      “Even if we are not contributing anything useful, at least let’s appreciate those who are doing a great service to the society.”

      My contribution maybe is useless but I am trying my best. Many of us do not consider the services of CSI, UGC and Jaffna College great at the moment.

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      Uduvil school crisis: Bishop pledges impartial probe into student attacks

      Thursday, 22 September 2016 00:00

      Head of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI), Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah has promised an impartial inquiry into allegations of attacks against students demanding an extension of service for a retiring headmistress at an elite girl’s school in Jaffna.

      The Uduvil Girls’ College, a private school managed by the JDCSI has been in the eye of a storm since the beginning of this month, after past pupils, students and a group of parents cried foul over the appointment of a new principal and what they referred to as the ‘forcible retirement’ of outgoing headmistress, Shiranee Mills.

      Past pupils and parents claim that the protesting students were attacked by several members of the staff supporting the new principal on 7 September, one day before the school term started at UGC.

      “Following our discussion with the parents a decision has been made to conduct an inquiry concerning allegations of some teachers attacking the protesting students. We assure the school community that this inquiry will be conducted in an independent and impartial manner. There were also allegations that some students attacked the teachers. This will also be looked into at the inquiry,” a statement by the UGC Board and Executive Committee of the JDCSI pledged.

      The decision was reached following a meeting between some parents of students, Bishop Thiagarajah and members of the Executive Committee of the JDSCI and the UGC Board last Monday (12), the statement noted.

      In their statement issued last week the school’s Board of Management has defended the appointment of a new principal for UGC, saying it was the culmination of a year-long process to appoint Mills’ successor, in which the retiring Principal was also involved.

      The statement which was signed by Secretary to the UGC Board Rev. T.H. Vasanthakuma and Secretary to the Diocese, Rev. Dr. D.S. Solomon noted that Suneetha Jebaratnam who was appointed Principal on 6 September was an old girl of Uduvil Girls’ College who had served as a teacher at the school for 30 years and as Vice Principal for eight years.

      – See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/569033/Uduvil-school-crisis–Bishop-pledges-impartial-probe-into-student-attacks#sthash.KU9V2H7I.dpuf

      Once again I repeat my request from Colombo Telegraph for balanced coverage on this matter than a perceived biased one.

      Donald Gnanakone

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        The cleaning process has already begun with the finalization and appointment of the new principal and vice principal last week. The former principal Mrs Mills handed over the office to the new principal last week.

        She also has just now (1 PM) Thursday the 22nd September vacated the residence once and for all.

        Those who wished to contact the board of trustees in Boston USA can easily obtain their contacts via Mrs. Mills or the “aspiring bishop” of 10 years ago. I am certain that they must have done that for many years and we all can see the results. Even the protesting students have praised the school’s good operation and administration the last few years. This is despite retiring of the old principal after extending her tenure for 3 consecutive years.

        It is also ridiculous to even encourage the 2-3 dozen students (out of 1300) to begin a civil disobedience campaign. Outsiders who have no idea of how the JDCSI manages and operates both Jaffna College and UGC should mind their own business and desist from causing trouble. So should the frustrated politicians and defeated candidates. Only the students will get affected and their studies. None of us or the parents want that to happen.

        The future for UGC, students and teachers appears to be good, now.
        My Best wishes to them all.

        Donald Gnanakone

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    Tearing me to shreds is what has been attempted in response to things that I have said in some other article. Donald Gnanakone , I’m sure that you are a sincere man, and you are talking about what you know very well.

    I don’t pretend to know the school you are talking about. However, in a sense that enables me, as an observer to point out the fallacies in what you say.

    How can “an impartial INTERNAL probe” possibly have credibility? Most Tamils say that they want an International investigation in to DEATHS during the War. The fact is that those poor souls have died and cannot be brought back as a result of inquiries. Here, in the case of Uduvil we are dealing with vibrant young lives. How can a probe initiated by this controversial Bishop have any credibility?

    In fact the very fact that he is a Bishop now makes us suspect things fishy are going on. Bishop Shantha Francis was said to be actually minting money on admissions to Trinity; that is hearsay – and I admit that I shouldn’t even be stating that here. But then, it has now been PROVED that he fraudulently drew his dead m-in-law’s pension for five years. In this “Land Like No Other” this is sufficient evidence to suspect any present administration. Now, we are have the Anglican Bishop of Colombo cheating at BoG elections – and AFTER he had put his priests in charge of each of the four S. Thomas’ Colleges.
    This is what we are now told about UGC: “We assure the school community that this inquiry will be conducted in an independent and impartial manner.” As Hamlet said, “WORDS, WORDS, WORDS” – but reasonable sounding words. We continue: “There were also allegations that some students attacked the teachers. This will also be looked into at the inquiry,” This would be reasonable if the inquiry is undertaken by some retired Muslim judge. (Hindus won’t do; nor would a Buddhist be acceptable to the JDCSI.) A Roman Catholic, perhaps. In fact, those quoted words read like a threat to me.

    Honestly: “We assure . . .” Who believes you any more? This is what the once great Established Anglican Church has come to. How ironic do these words sound now:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jotNbcFelX4

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      Pannini Edirisinghe aka Singhala-Man has once again demonstrated his total ignorance on the Uduvil issue writing a lot about irrelevant issues of 4 St. Thomase’s schools. The 5th one is in Colpetty.

      He should admit his ignorance and not lend useless and unsolicited opinions which has nothing to do with UGC.

      There is another article on FT by Darishta Bastian bringing this sordid matter to and end, hopefully. http://www.ft.lk/article/569496/Uduvil-school-crisis-raised-at-Northern-Provincial-Council.

      Once again, outsiders are trying to introduce racial issues to bring a Muslim judge to be the independent investigator. The comparison of 100,000 Tamil murders by War Criminals and possibly Genocide, to an alleged assault by a teacher on a insubordination of the protesting student is ridiculous. The Bishop and the Trustees and not going to dance to the whims of students (2-3 dozen) out of 1,300 students. The former investigations is what the Government of SL agreed and sponsored in an international forum cosponsored by the USG at the UNHRC and UN.

      I hope you can comprehend the basic difference. The local Police was also present all the time and the local judge also had looked into it and made his observation to the higher authorities. Just allow the system to function without outside interference and complaints via websites and webchats by anonymous characters.

      Donald Gnanakone.

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        Dear Donald Gnanakone,

        Yes, some of my comments do seem eccentric, but I suggested a Roman Catholic judge, too. Actually, I wish we could have clear thinking by independent judges who think on secular lines when performing public duties. Religion must be a personal thing.

        You know your society best; it may be I try to understand what is going on, but I know little. You sound reasonable when you say “possible” genocide. Many of us do feel guilty about how the War ended, but what can we do? Yes, Uduvil is obviously a storm in a tea cup by comparison.

        However, about S. Thomas’: there are only FOUR schools: Mt Lavinia which is regarded as the main school, and three “branches”: at Colpetty, Bandarawela and Mt Lavinia. One Board of Governors for them all, but the Ministry of Education regards them as four separate schools.

        Now, let’s hope the politics can be forgotten, and the children can recommence their education.

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