4 July, 2022

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Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied To A 11 Year Old 

By Tush Wickramanayaka

Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka

The Chairman of Gateway Group, the Principal of Gateway College, the OIC of Seeduwa Police, the Human Rights Commission, the National Child Protection Authority, the Minister of Education, the Inspector General of Police, The Attorney General’s Department, The Prime Minister and the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka failed to protect and provide the Constitutional rights to a young citizen.

CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 11 – No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

CONSTITUITION ARTICLE 12 (1) – All persons are equal before the law, and are entitled to the equal protection of the law

The following all too familiar scenario, crystalizes all that is wrong with our society and how the long arm of power over-rides justice, decency and fair play.

The Incident 

On 12th January 2018, my 11 year old daughter who attends Gateway College, Negombo had forgotten to take her weekly English reading book to school. The English master, Jude Udayakumara had forced my daughter and 8 other students who had a simple lapse of memory to kneel down and pulled their ears despite merciful pleadings. This was the nth time such punishments were metered out for simple errors. The perpetrators remained in school continuing to punish the students whilst new recruits followed suit. I had made several complaints before, requesting for a transparent complaint procedure, compulsory child psychology training for teachers and an active child protection policy; these have been ignored. 

As usual, I immediately gave a written complaint to the Principal, Devika Alldis and as usual, nothing happened until 19th of January. I complained to Seeduwa Police. JMO diagnosed Acute Stress Disorder. Quite predictably, the OIC endorsed his personal agenda and persuaded me to ignore the incident because my child had no injury. I realized that chances of finding justice were remote. At the conclusion of the inquiry on 25th January 2018, The Principal assured me that a Child Protection Policy will be adopted and that none of the children will be harassed due to the complaint to Police. We settled the matter amicably. So we thought. 

The Aftermath 

The following day, Mrs Alldis summoned the other 8 students into her office individually and obtained written evidence, 2 weeks after the incident and after we had concluded the matter amicably. The children were intimidated not to share this information with my daughter. However, my daughter was not asked to write a letter. 

The poor students were petrified to associate my daughter. She was left alone all day. She did not have a single friend to share her lunch or talk during interval. All the students were walking away from her, whispering timidly “don’t speak to her, Madam will scold us.”

The Breakdown 

My daughter is a bright, bubbly, confident and fearless character. She is a high academic achiever and excels in many sports, bringing glory to Gateway. This bright spark uncharacteristically breaks down. She cried non-stop for 3hrs, she could not sleep or eat. She refused to sleep in her room. She took up a fetal position in my bed. She was inconsolable. My heart broke and my guts wrenched wondering what on earth had happened in school. I blamed my-self all night. In the morning, after she had calmed down, I managed to get the full details of the previous day. I was speechless. I could not comprehend how any human could treat a defenseless child with such animosity. My daughter refused to go to school. She had never missed a day of school for 7 years. This was serious – damn serious!

Manipulation 

I decided to act faster this time and reported the incident to National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). 

The JMO diagnosed Psychological Disturbance due to incidents happening in school with Adjustment Disorder. Her mental condition had deteriorated since assessment at Negombo.

NCPA concluded the investigations and filed the case, Penal Code 308A Mental Cruelty to Children, at Negombo Magistrate’s Court on 2nd February 2018 and forwarded the file to the Attorney General’s Department (AG) for further advice. 

However, H M Abeyratne, Deputy Chairman of NCPA, was on the front page of Mawbima and Ceylon Today declaring that NCPA was dysfunctional. Mawbima and Ceylon Today are owned by Tiran Alles, former Board Member of Gateway Group and brother of Harsha Alles, Chairman of Gateway Group.

Suddenly, Abeyratne is elevated to the position of Chairman, NCPA on 9th April 2018. 

Since April 2018 my daughter’s case has gone into hibernation!

I wonder if this was a carefully choreographed coup. When they could not stop the investigation they changed the head of department – Classic manipulation?

Circus Of The Authorities

My daughter’s life became a living hell. She continued to be harassed in school. She was forced to sit at the back of the class, she was called a buffalo, the other 8 students who were punished started picking on her and children were ganging up on her.  She began to lose her memory even more and became disinterested in her school work. In the meantime, the school started a car sticker campaign. “We love our teachers. We love our school. Teachers are our second parents. School is our second home”. The teachers and parents started an exclusive WhatsApp group “Save Gateway Negombo” with detrimental posts about me and my family. I was disallowed to join. Some parents gave a letter to Seeduwa OIC endorsing corporal punishment and urging action against me. 

We called a family meeting. We informed our children of the negative impact this would have on their

lives; de-selection for sporting activities, de-selection for prefect ship, de-selection from peer groups. We laid down the ugly truth. Both my children unanimously agreed to pursue justice. Their gallantry was inspirational.

We reported back to NCPA on several occasions and confirmed the ongoing harassment. Each time, we spent half a day giving statements and each time we were reassured that NCPA will take immediate action. Each time they failed. 

I reported the matter to Minister of Education personally. I was informed that International schools are registered as businesses with Board of Investment. Therefore, the Ministry does not have any purview of International schools.

I reported the matter formerly to Human Rights Commission. They upheld the complaint and commenced inquiries. HRC wrote to the Ministry of Education, Board of Investment and Seeduwa Police. However, staff member Kusum Jayawardhena at HRC committed a serious breach of confidentiality by discussing sensitive information with her family. This lead to another complaint to HRC, which to date is outstanding. HRC abruptly concluded the inquiry relating to the original complaint ironically declaring that they too do not have the purview to deal with private institutions raising alarm bells of collusion. My daughter fell from the frying pan to the fire. 

I did not stop. I could not accept that any child should be subjected to such inhumane and cruel treatment. I wrote to Solicitor General, Dappula Di Livera in March and April 2018 urging the AG Department to take immediate action to spare my child from harassment. 

I met the Inspector General of Police, regarding the inefficiency of the special Police unit at NCPA.

I met the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe who was shocked that not a single department had taken any action despite the plethora of complaints. 

I have not received a response from any of the above to date.

When we did not abandon our quest for justice, Harsha Alles, urged me to transfer the children to another school. When I declined, he forbade me to communicate with the Principal or any teacher. I was ordered to liaise with a Consultant from Gateway College, Colombo even for an emergency. I declined. Then, the Chairman insisted that only my husband who lives in UK is permitted to liaise with the school. This was beyond ridiculous. The children were devastated that the school authorities were gunning to get rid of two ornaments of the school; shameful intimidation at its best. 

The Ugly Truth 

NCPA filed the case at Negombo Magistrate Court on 02/02/2018. The case was called on 11/05/2018, 01/06/2018, 13/07/2018, 26/07/2018, 31/08/2018 and 04/10/2018. On many of these occasions the NCPA informed court that they were awaiting AG advice. The case is due to be heard again on 07/02/2019.

I made legal representation to AG Department. We were informed that AG Department is inundated with political cases. Despite the reassurance to take urgent action the wheels of justice have come to a grinding halt for one full year.

After hearing the shocking ongoing harassment the Magistrate Court Judge, in an unprecedented move, issued an order directly to Additional Solicitor General, Ayesha Jinasena to take action urgently. The Judge also ordered the Victims of Crimes and Witnesses Assistance and Protection Division to ensure the welfare and safety of my child. 

The file was forwarded 360’ circles TWICE from NCPA to Children and Women’s Bureau to Witness Protection Division with absolutely nothing happening to date.

The stark inefficiencies and mind boggling dysfunctionalities of every authority responsible for child welfare makes my spine shiver. 

As a final attempt to move the wheels of justice I appealed to the Attorney General, Jayantha Jayasuriya on 2nd January 2019. Is the AG Department blind to the injustices of a defenseless and helpless 11year old child or is it being manipulated by political and financial influences to overlook the case, which we are commonly informed of in Sri Lanka?

It has been one hell of a year for my daughter and us. Whilst we experience regular discrimination, intimidation and harassment, the offending Teacher, Principal and Chairman lives at large unscathed.

WHY IS JUSTICE DELAYED AND DENIED TO AN INNOCENT AND DEFENSELESS 11 YEAR OLD?

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Latest comments

  • 74
    12

    Hats off to the writer for bringing this injustice to the notice of the public and being brave to name those who have, by their actions and by their inaction, been complicit in this grave injustice. WE call our country the hallowed land of the Buddha and the safe oasis for Christians and Muslims. Sadly, this seems to be mere lip service and an outward show of religious devotion, when in reality nothing like that exists beneath the surface and in the hearts of those responsible for this tragedy. The child mentioned here and the treatment meted out cannot be an isolated case. No doubt there are many others suffering silently in the hands of those in positions of power. The writer has done a great service to that silent majority. Another matter highlighted is the special status given to International schools and not subject them to the same rules and regulations that are applied to students of all other schools. This is beneath the dignity of our country to practice this inequality. Will the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and even the Leader of the Opposition take a stand on this bias and also the dastardly practice of child cruelty? Do they have the guts to do it? Only time will tell.

    • 6
      2

      Why keep your children in school?

  • 47
    20

    This story depicts the absolute depth of perpetuation of injustice by all systems of Sri Lanka. It also depicts how institutions and influential persons work to evade doing the right thing. However, there are some simple truths one should ask:
    1. If this happened to your child would you retain the child in the same institution that is subjecting that lovely child to untold brutality day in and day out? Would you not, as a parent remove the child from that institution and continue to fight for justice?
    2. Isn’t this mother’s ego of being a celebrity crusader actually paving way to more harassment and cruelty to her own underaged child? If she removed the child form the school, then most of the magic of this struggle dies. So she is keeping the child in an inhuman institution because it ignites her ‘struggle’. Isn’ t this mother also an abuser of this child?
    3. A small child to whom his parents are his safest most trusted people in the world will of course say ‘let’s fight for justice’ if the parents show that it is important to the parents. This is not because a child understands how harsh adult cruelty is. They agree to parents because they don’t want to let them down. Hasn’t the ‘family decision’ proven to be so detrimental to the child- according to the mother- now the child is broken , agitated, to the point of ‘losing her memory’. What sort of a mother keeps sending a child back to that environment? She is using the child to feed her ego.
    4. She can fight this battle , if she is actually fighting it for all children, even after removing the child from this cruel environment.

    Cont..

    • 30
      17

      Part -2

      5. She has been a very privileged person having access to President, PM ,etc etc. Not every citizen has the glorious privilege of doing so. [edited out]I do not judge her. But she should also not judge others if she is taking the same path of influence and political privilege going to the point of accessing the President.

      However, these are my personal perceptions as a mother myself.
      I maintain that this sort of cruelty should not be imparted on any child anywhere in the world and it should not take one year to give justice.
      I hope this child is soon free from all her abusers , including her mother who is keeping her in an environment of abuse because that small child one day agreed to staying in the school. A child is called a ‘minor’ for a reason. We must not burden them with adult decisions that are beyond their imagination. We can still fight for our children, separating our ego from the actual welfare of our children.
      What if this child was sexually abused, instead of being hit on the head? Would this mother still keep the child in the school and keep sending her there ‘to fight’ .Most important thing is the safety and the well being of the child. The mother and the state have both violated this child’s human rights.

      • 23
        15

        She lives in Negombo where else can she send them?

        • 13
          23

          If the child were sexually abused at school would she keep sending her to Lyceum, just because she lives in Negombo? No thinking person would condone hitting a child/verbally abusing a child in anyway or social isolation of this innocent child within the school. No one would ever condone delaying justice she deserves. But what kind of a sadist will get a tiny child to “agree to fight” and continue to send a child whose mental faculties and judgement are in its infancy day in and day out to the wolves’ den? She is a doctor for godssake! This “fight” is feeding the mother’s ego. She has tried to manipulate the investigation process by trying to exert political pressure through the President and the Prime Minister of this country. What does that say about her? And she is complaining that others are using political pressure. So these rules of political patronage apply only to her? When she does it, it’s all good and if other’s do it its a sin? If she is playing dirty she should expect this. Even if you play clean Sri Lankan system of seeking justice is so frustrating. She is victimizing her child in the middle of all this. Both the state and the mother are violating this child’s human rights. Also I these claims are true Lyceum is also violating this child’s rights.

          • 13
            6

            Shyam, this Master Jude seems to be a habitual offender by punishing children in an abusive manner. He may be an old timer or is a maniac to twist ears of the children especially on female students of this age group. I have serious doubt about this man Jude. It is a clear cut abuse. This particular child is brilliant didn’t commit any offense and she only forgot to bring a school book, is it a punishable offense? Most serious thing is that school principal and the staff poisoned the minds of the classmate of this child to discriminate and encouraged them to express a hostile abusive attitude which is a heinous crime.

            If I were the dad of this child I would have taken more stern action than her parents of this child did. This incident should be an eye-opener to the rest of the international schools.

          • 2
            0

            Right now, St John’s College, Jaffna, is reeling from a sex scandal involving the Principal who happens to be an Anglican priest.
            .
            Things don’t seem all that bad at Gateway!

        • 16
          1

          This is a sad story, all too common.
          .
          The mother’s action, on the other hand, is remarkable: brave and appreciated. On the other hand, one can’t help wondering if it is all worth it, from the child’s point of view..
          .
          Subo, your response is worth considering, because it seems to suggest that this place “Negombo” is in the middle of a huge uninhabited desert. There was another person lamenting that this was happening in an “English medium” place.
          .
          Education in our country is in a huge mess; I’m about to get to this article to place yet another observation. Why I’m commenting there is not because that represents a panacea for all problems educational, but because we’ve got to find solutions at a National or World Level for what ails us.
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/when-education-for-everyone-excluded-everyone-else/
          .
          As for the problems facing Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka and daughter: I wish them all the best.

          • 3
            0

            Dear Sinhala_Man,

            I was expecting a profound comment from you for my comment below referring to the Srilankan Judiciary because I thought therein I had cleared some of the doubts you said you have in your mind which you were anxious to know.
            Charles Cooray

            • 1
              0

              Dear Charles,
              .
              Yes, I read all that you had said; I shall carefully study all aspects of your problem, and say something, but it may be quite inadequate.
              .
              If you look at the
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/when-education-for-everyone-excluded-everyone-else/

              • 0
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                Dear Sinhala_Man,

                I sure appreciate that. Thank you.

                Charles

                • 2
                  0

                  Dear Charles Cooray,
                  .
                  I have looked again and read some of the other comments on this school girl story. They all seem so subjective.
                  .
                  Like almost all others, even I’ve managed to get entangled in some property cases that abound in Sri Lanka. I am perceived to have won most of these mini-battles, but they have all been Pyrrhic victories; I could have been much more constructively engaged elsewhere.
                  .
                  As a group, the legal fraternity will always be a lot of blood-sucking leeches, but I managed to get through most of those problems because there are extremely noble people amongst them as well. Even if I were to relate some of the stories in detail on this sort of forum, I don’t think that it would be relevant. There just are too many such stories.
                  .
                  I know rather more about Education than about the Law. Which is why I posted that link. Particular cases of injustice will always have to be addressed by those most closely involved.
                  .
                  Policies can be meaningfully discussed in public fora.
                  .
                  I owe everybody an explanation for that incomplete comment yesterday. There was a power failure, and with the IPS dying, I just managed to paste that link and post that comment..

                  • 0
                    0

                    Dear Sinhala_Man,

                    1. The Defense Party does not have originals of the first two Deeds.
                    2. What was tendered in Court are two Photo Copies of the Duplicate Copies Rubber Stamped at the back as True Copies. My complaint to the CID was inquired and concluded they are forged but said they cannot cross the Red Line Subjudice.
                    3. The the Duplicate Copies of said two copies have disappeared from the Land Registry. Not found to this day.
                    4. During Cross Examination the witness from the Land Registry was shown the Second Deed and he admitted the emboss stamp which must be there is not there.
                    5. What is intriguing is the First Chief Justice is an intimate friend of the Defendant sharing a common pastime.
                    6. The Second Chief Justice is a close friend and associate of the Defense Counsel.
                    You sure need not have to be a Rocket Man to understand how justice took a quick flight out of the Court Room Window. In Srilanka justice can be bought.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Thanks for placing so much faith in me. I’m not a perfect human being, but there are limits to my understanding.
                      .
                      When I know something at first hand, I put it down in writing, as here:
                      .

                      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/
                      .
                      Once you go there, you can reverse to two other articles. Not only was nothing done to reverse the process there, but it looks as though the Governing Bodies of the schools are getting ready to repeat the process in 2020 – some day before the 1st of April. If I write yet another article on that will anybody even bother to act. I’m sure that many will congratulate me, but there it will end.
                      .
                      I note that comments on this article will be possible for four days more.

        • 8
          0

          Anywhere but there.why is the child going through misery everyday at school.with no friends and no teachers supporting her?
          If it was my child ,I would not send her to that school anymore!!

  • 20
    4

    This is not an unusual occurrence in Srilanka. Even teachers have to kneel down in front of rowdy politicians. Fortunately she has an affluent mother with an excellent ability to articulate her self. But, what about hundreds of thousands other mothers who are in the same shoes as her with shunted voices??

    • 10
      24

      Affluent may be,she may have money too, when she says Teacher squeezed the ear so the child cried for THREE HOURS. Who wants to believe her.

      • 16
        6

        JD, perhaps you should read the article before you misinterpret it. The incident occurred on 12th Jan 2018. The child went to school until 23rd January 2018. According to the mother, the child was isolated in class for a whole day, which led to the mental trauma that caused the breakdown of the child. I would like to see how any adult would react if he/she was forced into isolation. They seem like a pretty resilient and courageous family who wont fall at the first hurdle. Yes, I believe the mother!

  • 21
    7

    Every step taken by Tush Wickramanayaka are near perfect. Yet she has not had much success. This is due to the breakdown in Law and Order here.
    .
    A similar incident occurred in a rural GoSL school.
    An activist was involved with educating people of the HIV scourge and its prevention. Gossip mills went full steam spreading that her girl-child had HIV. The school where her girl-child studied, did not prevent the child being boycotted.
    HRCSL was not very helpful either.

    1 Comment
    Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied To A 11 Year Old

  • 51
    10

    First of all this case of ill treatment of the child by the teacher is not extremely serious or a serious child cruelty as portrayed by the mother. Yes, what had happened is wrong and not acceptable and complains must be given due consideration by the management however it looks to me that this mother is a whinger and a moaner who wanted let her ego run wild while the innocent child had to go through all these unnecessary experiences.
    As someone who study human behaviour, I can only imagine this as an issue with the mother and not with the school. If you have not received the kind of education and treatment at the school why continue to pay them and get hurt?, can’t you find any other schools where your children could be happier?
    I’m sure there are many readers who would agree that as children we had to go through similar punishments in our state schools and we never became stressed or mentally ill and I would have imagined that still some school children suffer similar punishments and I don’t see this as a life changing matter. So get real and don’t focus too much on this, change the school and move on. If you still want to fight you can do this but let the child enjoy her precious life without dragging her in to this issue anymore.

  • 19
    12

    Hats off to Thush Wickremanayake for having the courage to keep going on this situation on behalf of thousands who have been through similar situations. Hope justice will serve all parties involved right.

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 15
    7

    Terrible situation indeed. It is clearly the fault of the school for not settling the problem in an educated and amicable manner. Instead they set out to harass the mother and the child to a great extent. They should have organized a plan of action to help the students and their families better, rather than punishing the children in a silly and useless manner. For example, the school can have a store of extra textbooks for children who forget them. Or the parents can place an extra copy in the bag (never to be taken out at home), and used as a backup in case the child forgets to pack the usual books. Textbooks can also be shared between children. Having said that, kneeling down and pulling one’s own ears is hardly abuse, except that it looks and feels a bit shameful. If a student is not singled out, and it is done in a group, then it is funny. Yet, children should not be made to feel ridiculous. It seems to be an Asian thing, and seen on films. Maybe it worked well in the past, and children quickly complied after that. Should we be more Weston oriented and give medication for better memory and organization instead?

    • 6
      3

      As always, just a fair warning to all readers, that this article is written from one perspective, do not simply go by the “what I read is the truth” theory. Because more often than not, there is more to it than that. This article does not make any mention of the actions taken by the school in this regard. Neither does it provide a clear reason as to why all of the aforesaid authorities including the President himself has not invested heavily in these claims. And yes, until proven these are simply slanderous allegations. And nothing more. If there is any truth to it, I’m sure the relevant authorities including the school will ensure corrective measures are taken and the facts will be released soon.

  • 17
    9

    Shyam – You seem to be having a personal vendetta against the mother. Why not leave that aside and think of the child and hundreds of other children who face similar situations? There are volumes of evidence on the psychological damage that mental cruelty does to children and the effects they have on them as adults. Adamuk, who says he/she has studied human behaviour seems to think these are minor issues. Do Google and read about the well researched reports on damage this does to children. In Sri Lanka there are many cases, mostly officially unreported, of students who have suffered serious physical harm on account of corporal punishment. Colombo Telegraph must be congratulated for publishing this article. I hope they can set up a mechanism for other parents to report on incidents effecting their children

    • 10
      3

      I have been commenting on CT for nearly a decade. I have never condoned the brutality inflicted on this child. I have never said that any form of brutality is ok or funny or normal. This injustice should be fought. But it should be done ethically, especially from a perspective on the long term effect on the child. What I have stated, I have done from the child’s childhood perspective. After reading this comment what I want to say that if Tush Wickramanayaka wants this experience for her child it is none of my business. No skin off my nose! We all dream of justice in different forms. In that process we might forget who is paying what price. I won’t waste my time fighting here on this topic. Good luck to all of you “without a vendetta ” I guess.

    • 10
      1

      First of all calm down my dear Outsider. The best approach to finding resolution to any problem is to evaluate the situation/context of the problem in a calm and balanced frame of mind. If you are going to be hyped up and react you will have totally different sets of outcome compared to the calmer approach. So if you read the whole article and the way the mother has handled the issue is totally wrong. From your view I can anticipate that you must be either living or have lived in a first world country and you are expecting the first world treatment in a third world country. If you argue that we need to change the system here in Sri Lanka, yes I agree but we don’t need to take this child’s life as a test case for doing so. Hope this makes sense.

    • 6
      6

      The problem is this doctor has a personal vendetta against the school. What happened was wrong, she complained, the school investigated, dismissed the teacher, lessons have been learned, end of story.
      Why must she go on harrassing the school at all cost? And, what cost? Her daughter’s well-being. She is not right in the head.

      • 3
        2

        S Fernando – “the school investigated, dismissed the teacher, lessons learned, end of story”. Doesn’t that all suggest a unilateral code of conduct that has not benefited anyone? If the school investigated, why was the teacher still teaching 10days after the incident prompting the mother to complain to Police? If the teacher was sacked why didn’t the school immediately notify parents/students/teachers of their policy of zero tolerance on any form of punishment? If lessons were learned why has the school refused to advocate a transparent complaint procedure, adopt a child protection policy or ensure child psychology training for teachers as the mother had requested? WHY did the school harass the family with stickers, whatsapp group and letters to police against the mother, etc to hide the truth? WHY did the school try to chase the victim and the mother away? “she is not right in the head” – of course , not. If any child of mine suffered such grave mental anguish and a personal vendetta was launched against my family, I too would not be right in my head. But, with all of these adversities is it not remarkable the resilience, the patience, the fortitude, the courage and the strength to pursue the legitimate avenues to find justice for ONE whole year before she spoke up? We NEED more individuals like her and her young family. They are an inspiration to the country. I hope justice is served soon!

  • 11
    3

    what she must do is to quickly take that child out of the school.The prospects in the future for the child is bleak in that school.When my daughter was attending a school in the western country and she was about 16,when we moved close to the school so that we put her in and then moved out to another address a teacher started to tell her before the whole class that she had done a wrong thing.I phoned the principal and gave him a piece of my mind in the rough voice i’am endowed with and he apologized profusely and asked whether i want to take it up further with a written complaint so that he can take action against the teacher.I said no,the matter is over as far as i’am concerned.I had to think of her future at the school.She did well with flying colours and entered uni,with no further problems at the school.You got to look at the big picture always.Child is first.

  • 3
    2

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 5
    5

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere – Dr Martin Luther King Jr
    What courage this mother has to pursue justice despite the ongoing harassment. No doubt there may be good reasons as to why they cannot transfer the kids – geographical location, lack of resources, avoiding more mental trauma if kids are removed from their comfort zones, not making kids feel guilty for the misbehavior of school authorities because to run from their peers and activities suggests the same, children sitting key stage exams, etc. What this story depicts is how people exert political and financial influence to hide from injustice and how one family is standing firm. Shyam, seems to have a personal vendetta against the mother. Clearly she has misread the article because the perpetrators are Gateway College, not Lyceum. Adamuk, Yes, we too were punished in our days but we were NEVER mentally traumatized and there was no manipulation to hide the truth to this extent. This parent simply appealed to the authorities to let justice prevail. Any citizen has the right to meet any Government officer…yet she failed! At what point do we enlighten our selves that our children, whom we call “our future” should not be treated inferior to any other citizen of the world? When do we empower our children to stand up for their moral rights? At what point do we energize our selves to protect our children, our future?

    • 9
      3

      I’m writing this comment in spite of commenting that I will not comment further on this article because I have mis-written the name of the school. Yes. You are right. My apologies. It’s Gateway College, not Lyceum. And yeah, you know me sooooo well to know that I have a personal vendetta against the mother. Like I said earlier. No skin off my nose. Please help yourselves, and this innocent child to any amount of brutality in any form. If it’s good and fun for her mother, what is my problem with that? All you vendetta-less , perfect, saintly, all compassionate, kind people who don’t want to see that there is a convoluted issue with political patronage and privilege from all sides, who can’t tolerate an alternate view, good luck! Good luck to the poor, broken, traumatized, brutalized child who goes to the wolves’ den every day. You guys should open your eyes and get a life!

  • 4
    5

    My prayers are with you and your daughter.
    Any help from me if need be, be assured.

    • 5
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      Why don’t you say that is what the Almighty wanted. Most of the article is not trust worthy. child was held for one whole day. child wwas crying for full three hours. Alluent mother was not informed by givine a phone call. Look very much like a made up story. GATEWAY name should be a private school. Why she is sending her daughter toa seecond grade school is it because she has some Axe to grind.

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        JD – a credible news reporter such as Colombo Telegraph would have verified every detail, including the medical diagnosis of the child victim before publishing. Your suggestion that the story was “made up” is a discredit to Colombo Telegraph. Also, the author NEVER accused Gateway of a “second grade” school. You did! All she has said is that the school habitually failed and still fails to protect the students, that punishment was a common occurrence at Gateway and that Gateway has not adopted a child protection policy yet for the benefit of ALL students.

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    It is really a sad story of torcher and discrimination meted out to an 11-year child in an English medium private school. It is unbearable to learn that child cried with her mother unstoppable. Fortunately and thank God, the mother Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka is an educated mother who is able to take appropriate action with relevant high authorities and able to present actual facts to CT. We all know that there are teachers with a rude attitude towards children and clueless about child psychology. Such teachers should be terminated from the service with immediate effect before any serious problems crop up. Why can’t this school take stern action against that English Master Jude Nanayakkara who needs counselling treatment badly? We are really surprised at seeing the attitude and the mentality of the top management of this school. It is disturbing to note that the top management of this prestigious international school is ruining the good name of their Late Father R.I.T.Alles who is a National Personality of Sri Lanka.

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      R.I.T.Alles was no personality of Sri Lanka. He beat many children and teenagers with a relish that bordered on sadism. Having said that, he was a very hard working organiser and teacher.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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    To quote Haile Selassie, former Emperor of Ethiopia “throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka, I sincerely hope justice will prevail for your daughter soon.

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      Good heavens! Gitanjali Marcelline, is “the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God” – all 5 feet 2 inches of him still remembered?
      .
      Anyway, those words are good.

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        Of course! particularly his condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people. But the quote I like most of his is ‘”Outside the kingdom of the Lord there is no nation which is greater than any other. God and history will remember your judgment.”

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    Dear Lady,
    Please be assured that you are not living all by yourself in this wicked world of Srilankans. I have been made a destitute by having placed my absolute faith and trust in our judiciary. I spent a fortune in terms of money and 18 precious years of my time pawning the future of my time to their detriment. I cry almost every day because I cannot be near to my ailing wife. Her sisters pay for her medications.
    Please read on: Part I.
    1. I am a direct victim of corrupt to the core Judiciary and rogue Police.
    2. I was employed overseas. My unmarried sister lived and managed our ancestral home where she herself was born. There lived in the same house several tenants of hers.
    3. All of a sudden the house disappeared like Houdini Magic along with my sister. The place was illegally occupied by a certain party. An entry was lodged with the Police to take action against the criminal trespassers.
    4. No sooner I got the news I returned to Srilanka. Upon making inquiries I was informed that a deadly criminal gang was behind the heinous crime.
    5. The local Police Station had come under their siege which instead of taking a direct handle to solve the crime it became a hostile party confronting me. I became the target of contract killers because once I am out of the picture they have no one to oppose them.
    6. With no other option I turned to the Judiciary by filing a case with the District Court of Colombo naming the illegal occupier/trespasser.
    7. It took them almost two months to file a counter claim. They filed a counter claim in court supported by a set of faked deeds. The Deed Nos. V1 & V2 are certified copies obtained from the duplicates in the Land Registry because they are not in possession of the originals of the purported deeds. I applied to the Land Registry for certified copies of V1 and V2 but was informed that the file containing V1 cannot be located and V2 is missing from the file while all other deeds down and up from V2 are intact in pristine condition.

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    Part II
    8. When the case was called for arguments my counsel having convinced of himself that the Deeds V1 & V2 are sure fakes vehemently objected to commence hearing the case without a proper check on the two faked deeds first.
    9. The Defence Counsel using high handed tactics got the court to agree to proceed on with the case on the condition that the two deeds V1 & V2 are “subject to proof” but failed to do so through out the trial to the very end.
    10. The Defence Counsel conducting his cross examination showed me a copy of V1. I told him that it is a forgery. He asked me the signature on it belongs to my father and I emphatically said it is not. That was the end of my cross examination. It became clear to the judge as clear as daylight the truth which lies behind.
    11. I established my sole ownership both by way of clear titles and by prescriptive rights without an iota of doubt. Whereas, even if his faked deeds are assumed to be true he still cannot claim any rights to the matter because his chain of titles are flawed and defective.
    12. The Defence Party tried their utter best to alter the mindset of the judge by offering him attractive inducements but failed.
    13. They managed to get the highly respected judge out of their way by getting the case transferred from court to court and finally arriving in a partitioned court of a judge whose integrity became questionable and sometime later was forced to resign. This judge put down the Order just the way it was dictated to him by the Defence Counsel.
    14. Through the rigid bondage between the Defence Counsel and the Chief Justice the Appeal Court judges came under undue pressure to confirm the Order of the DC Judge.
    15. My Application to the Supreme Court appealing the above judgement again under urging of the above duo rejected my application almost ex0parte.

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    Harsha Alles is a businessman not an educator and this has been a usual practice with students and teachers , but non of them will come forward.

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    So many articles have appeared in the CT and other News Papers with regard to justice delays, justice denied and verdict delays . Not only by litigants who have gone through the agony but even by Judges, when they go through ceremonial sittings. But every thing ends with the ‘ceremony’.
    After all judges too were practicing lawyers before they got on to the bench. Hence they always have a soft corner for the lawyers who live on DATES and their own political leanings and favour..

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    Shyam says – Isn’t this mother’s ego of being a celebrity crusader actually paving way to more harassment and cruelty to her own under aged child? If she removed the child form the school, then most of the magic of this struggle dies. So she is keeping the child in an inhuman institution because it ignites her ‘struggle’. Isn’ t this mother also an abuser of this child?- Harsh words Shyam. You write as if this is only the writers struggle prompted by her ego. You say the mother has sacrificed the child as otherwise “Ihen most of the magic of this struggle dies”. What cynicism and what a warped sense of social responsibility. If you had a genuine concern for countless number of children who are being abused, and might I say legally abused, you could have presented your argument differently. You are entitled to your view, but surely the cause has to be bigger than individuals? From what the writer has said, the need to stop child abuse goes far wider and deeper than the writer and her child. The fact that she is struggling to end child abuse has to be acknowledged and her effort congratulated as most other commentators have done. Also remember most struggles for justice and fair play are prompted by the personal life experiences of those spearheading such struggles. So rather than finding fault with the mother, support her and others who have not been able to or have been unwilling to come out in the open about child abuse as the writer has done.

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      To get a child admitted to these Private Schools, cost the parents a fortune. These schools insist on a large sum of money either called “Building Fund” or non refundable deposit. Quarterly fees and levies are significant too. Parents get taken to the cleaners because of the laxity of the Government to provide for the people an acceptable level of education. It is an inconsiderate suggestion to ask a parent to get the child out and into perhaps to a worse school. It takes a child time to get adjusted. The indifference of the Principal cannot be condoned. It sounds like she needs counseling to be compassionate towards the community. Not all are perfect.

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    Running away from the problem is not the answer.Stay back and fight- that is the answer. At least this mother has the capacity to fight and expose.. How many other mothers have the capacity to do so. How many mothers can at least write like this.
    This will be a lesson for other schools as well.

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    Dear Author,
    You are an absolute hypocryte, and have witheld some important facts, such as that the teacher was dismissed. So, do not say he goes on living unscathed.
    What happened to your daughter is not very nice, but it is very mild compared to the trauma you put her through every day by continuing to send her to that school. Shame on you.

    You complained, the school did an investigation, and as a consequence, they dismissed the teacher. What exactly do you want from them? Please keep your ego in check.

    Yours sincerely,
    Normal citizen with common sense and reasoning ability

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      This is some CRappy politics. It is full of lies. unbelievable lies. It is like westyern humanrights.

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      S Fernando, It is VERY clear what the Author wants from the school – “requesting for a transparent complaint procedure, compulsory child psychology training for teachers and an active child protection policy; these have been ignored”. It does not say anywhere that the teacher was dismissed or that the Author requested such dismissal. It also does not say anywhere that the school investigated the matter. Where are you getting such information from? Are you a parent who supported the complaint to the police against the Author endorsing corporal punishment? Are you a spokesperson for the school because you seem to have confidential information that the Author has not divulged? The Author also says that the child is a “high academic achiever and excels in sports bringing glory to Gateway”. Is it not an admirable quality to allow the school to benefit from this child’s achievements despite being harassed. What this mother is teaching is tolerance, allegience and self confidence to walk through life despite the turmoil. The Author is raising not just a normal citizen (like you) but a super natural citizen! Commending your self on your abilities and insulting another is the epitome of an egoistical maniac.

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    Shocking but been raised to similar conditions not surprised , I don’t disagree with your battle but I do have concerns why your willing to drag your child through this process. You have listed a number of impacts, long term impacts that could destroy your babies. Fight and let the world know . You are one isolated case in this school, it’s Sri Lanka it’s a place where change willl take forever it should not be at the cost of your children. Mental health for children is a serious issue reconsider your options before your own battle.

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    please inform Tush Wickramanayake to contact me and I can help her. It’s a gross violation of this child rights and we are not ready to tolerate. I will make sure next court date AG Department to send their advice to the court. Head of Woman and Child police unit is a lady called SP Lanka Rajini and mother can meet her any time to discuss. if the police failed their duty and you can get justice. if the politicians see poking and I will make them answerable to you. I hope plenty of people could have come forward to help this child and I can also provide you a tiny help.

    International Human Rights Activist
    Sri Lanka Forward With Jeeran

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      Dear Mr. Jeeran,
      May I please urge you to read the comment I have made with reference to the ingrained corruption in the Justice System of Srilanka which is a worst kind of violation of human rights wiping out whole families. No one can come to rescue because there is no provision in the Srilankan legal system however much idiosyncratic the way it is.
      I sure hope you could come to my rescue.

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    Admire the effirt and the pain in fighting against injustice. However isnt it a A storm in the tea cup?

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      Maybe to you..but not to the mother.

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    Not sure whether to laugh or cry. Violating the human rights of a kid, when they are asked to kneel down and pull their ears as punishment at school? What has gone wrong with this world?
    :
    I absolutely hate hurting kids (or any being for that matter), but I think asking a kid to kneel down and pull their ears is hardly a harsh punishment in most people’s view.
    :
    I don’t agree if the principal of the school in this case tried to isolate the kid after her mother complained if that’s to be believed.
    :
    When I was a kid, we endured much ‘harsher’ punishments by our teachers including occasional caning on our back side.
    :
    I don’t support caning but I don’t think it caused any permanent psychological damage to us. We probably hated the teachers who whacked us at the time but as we grew old enough to understand why we were punished, any such harsh feelings disappeared. We love our teachers so dearly and reminisce with some humour the punishments meted out to us by them, when we catch up with them every now and then.
    :
    I feel sorry for the kid, the subject matter of this article, and sincerely hope she will have some opportunity to build resilience that will put her in good stead when she has to face the real life later, which can often be much harsher.

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    I attended a leading school in Colombo and in our days, punishment was something that was acceptable and most importantly, our parents, instead of trying to fight with teachers, made it a point to teach us as to what we had done wrong. I am holding a very good position in a well known corporate in SL today and I have no ill feeling towards any of my teachers who punished me and taught me whats right or wrong. In fact, I know that the others who were with me on the same boat feels the same way too.

    I see the issue here as parents spoiling their kids. I would totally agree with the author if the kid was brutally beaten up or mishandled. But, as far as I am concerned, the kid did a mistake by not taking the book and the parents also had not looked in to it before she left home that day to school. This simple punishment of kneeling down and the ear being twisted would remind the kid not to do such mistake again. If the parents had not spoil the kid and had told the kid what her mistake was, she wouldn’t have been traumatized or gone through this ugly experience either.

    • 5
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      You seem to have your ideals misplaced. There is a difference between discipline and punishment which is an outmoded corrective method. This whole thing got blown out of all proportions because of lack of diplomacy and lot of stubbornness.

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