By Tush Wickramanayaka –
This article relates to “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied To A 11year Old” published on 21st January 2019.
The Gateway Brigade
My son recently concluded the end of Term Examination at Gateway College, Negombo. He is a high academic achiever, who is at the threshold of GCSE’s in May 2019. His Mathematic paper was deliberately marked down by the school Math teacher giving 35%, the lowest mark received in his entire school career. I appealed to Chairman, Harsha Alles on 30th December 2018 to kindly re-correct the paper and allocate the marks. After a kangaroo court hearing, the teacher admitted his mistake but on 24th January 2019, Devika Alldis, Principal refused to allocate the correct marks. Pearson/Edexcel after verifying the Math paper, instructed Harsha Alles on 31st January 2019, “Pearson requires all our centres to have in place internal processes for dealing with complaints”. Pearson/Edexcel has also introduced a Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy to all their centres including Gateway College after the incident of corporal punishment, but Chairman, Harsha Alles has failed to do anything. It is crystal clear that Gateway’s intentions are to demoralize and mentally harass my son after the publication of the above article.
Furthermore, on 26th January 2019, Gateway College Alumni Association published an unsigned letter on their FB page claiming it was from the Gateway Group. The letter was addressed to the “Members of the Gateway Family”. The only noteworthy comment was the admission that an incident of corporal punishment occurred at Gateway College, Negombo relating to my daughter and 8 other students. The rest of the letter was their typical response to trivialize the matter and to black list me, instigating a Gateway Family uprising. Gateway Alumni succeeded in publicly crucifying my son, my daughter and me with malicious dishonesty. Not only were their comments dishonest but they had fake profilers gang raping us on every platform. Adults were portraying their darkest qualities of pure evil and inhumane behavior towards two defenseless children and their guardian. The Facebook page has about 5300 members. This post attracted an unprecedented 1600 likes and 264 shares. The posts immediately before and after attracted on average 50 likes and 8 shares. This was victim harassment at its best.
Soon after, Gateway Alumni FB page also published a website www.stopharassingteachers.com with the letter from Gateway Group as the sole content of the website. This too was shared by many, but I am unable to provide the accurate count as it has now been removed from Alumni FB page after some members complained of the lunacy.
Typically, I am blocked from the Alumni FB page. The blood thirsty mad dogs of the Gateway brigade are emulating their previous actions of forming an exclusive WhatsApp group and the sticker campaign, except this time they have gone global with their efforts of intimidation.
Why is aggression normalized in our society? Why is intimidation so attractive in our society? Why would any educational institute who thrive on its reputation refuse to adopt a child protection policy?
WHY IS GATEWAY DETERMINED TO PREVENT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE?
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Admits to Serious Breach of Confidentiality
The recently re-accredited A star Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) blatantly violates the confidentiality and dignity of a 11year old, contrary to the United Nations Charter.
UN CHARTER 1945 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Following my complaint in January 2018 to HRCSL of the incident of corporal punishment at Gateway College, they commenced inquiries only to abruptly halt it claiming the matter was not under the purview of HRCSL. Furthermore, staff member Kusum Jayawardena committed serious breach of confidentiality, which HRCSL has acknowledged and dismissed. Unbeknown to us the following aftermath occurred last year.
My daughter noticed the other students and teachers behaving oddly. When my daughter asked to borrow an eraser, another student dismissed her “it is not your right’. They all laughed out loud. On another occasion, when she raised her hand to ask a question from the teacher she was told curtly that “it is not you right”. Again, the air rippled with laughter from the students. My daughter was embarrassed and confused. Tears were rolling as she jumped in the car convinced that something odd was happening in school. However, since she had already missed considerable time off school soon after the incident, I persuaded her to return to school and advised her to dismiss the silly behavior of the kids. Little did I realize that I was sending my poor baby to a slaughter -house.
On 16th February 2018, I called HRCSL and I was prepared to record the telephone conversation but was unprepared for the paralyzing revelation by staff member, Kusum Jayawardena. She confirmed that she had not only taken my daughter’s case file home, but that she had discussed the matter with her relatives who had a child attending the same school, who had in turn divulged confidential information to Gateway. Suddenly, it started to make sense. I recognized the piercing alarm bells that started to vibrate in my head. I had visions of my daughter being naked in front of a classroom of haters facing the wrath of ridicule. I blamed myself for ignoring the warning signals the previous weeks.
My daughter was robbed of her dignity.My daughter was shamelessly discriminated. My daughter was subjected to inhumane mental cruelty.
Following a complaint of serious breach of confidentiality, I made several calls to the Acting Director Administration, numerous calls to Chairperson, Dr Deepika Udagama, two emails requesting an appointment as per the instructions of her staff but I was refused an audience. All I could do was to highlight the shocking inefficiencies of the very establishment that was meant to ensure the right to an education free of mental and physical pain.
On 20th July 2018, HRC commenced inquiry into my complaint of Kusum Jayawardena. I was looking forward to reveal how her actions and the delay in processing the complaint had tormented my daughter’s life. I wanted HRCSL to appreciate the dilemma that we parents face in sensitive situations such as this when we have to make a critical decision to pursue justice. I wanted the HRCSL to empathize with my daughter who was struggling to concentrate in school and failing to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. No human being should have to experience the unimaginable humiliation, persistent intimidation, vile character assassination and the gangster style attempts to break the family composition. These animals have no moral fibre of decency. Where is the compassion and tolerance that every religion promotes in our paradise isle?
While we were waiting patiently for a date to appear before the inquiry panel, on 28thJanuary 2019, we were predictably devastated to receive the following from HRCSL:
“This refers to your letter dated December 24, 2018 on the above subject.
I wish to inform you that this matter was taken up at the board level of the Commission.
At the Board Meeting of the Commission held on 15.11.2018 at the Head Office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri lanka, the Board listened to the audio tape of the voice recording containing your telephone conversations with Ms Kusum which you had furnished to this office in support of your allegation. The Board was of the opinion that Ms Kusum had indeed discussed the complaint with her family members.
Mrs Kusum was requested for explanation on the matter after which she explained herself and expressed remorse for her conduct. Hence the board decided to close the matter on her assurance that she will not engage in such conduct again.
T D Wimalasooriya, Secretary (A/to duties), Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka”
HRC allows a young defenseless 11 year old to be hung to dry because of their inefficiencies, does not allow an opportunity to meet the Chairperson, does not allow the opportunity to participate at the inquiry, starts and abruptly concludes one inquiry ironically stating the matter is beyond their remit and they shut the case of serious breach of confidentiality without establishing a process to avoid similar incidents. Is HRCSL familiar with the process of Lessons Learned and Reconciliation? Is the Chairperson of HRCSL aware that she is accountable to the tax paying citizens who contribute to her wages? Is this how a A star HRC office should function?
WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ENSURING THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENRY WHEN THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF SRI LANKA VIOLATES THOSE RIGHTS?
The Debacle of the National Child Protection Authority and Attorney General’s Department
On 2nd February 2019, the seventh calling date of my daughter’s case at Negombo Magistrate Court, The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) informed the Hon Magistrate that AG Department had instructed to file charges on Penal Code 314, Simple Assault instead of the 308A Cruelty; the former less serious and lethargic process of concluding at Samatha Manadalaya.
However, my astute legal team questioned how the AG Department could give such instructions without the report from the Government Analyst of crucial information from my mobile phone, which was submitted as evidence in May 2018, without pursuing the order issued by the Hon Magistrate on 26thJuly 2018 to protect my child as per the Witness Protection Act and without taking into account the alarming medical evidence. It transpired there was no report from the Government Analyst to date and my daughter’s case file was stagnant at the office of the Children and Women’s Bureau. Hon learned Magistrate instructed the NCPA to complete the inquiries. One year after the incident, we left the court house empty handed again.
As per the instructions of Attorney General, Jayantha Jayasuriya, my legal representatives met Additional Solicitor General, Ayesha Jinasena, PC on 19thJuly 2018. The letter we forwarded clearly highlighted the submission of the mobile phone.
Do the inefficiencies of NCPA and AG Department constitute child protection and welfare? Should we trust such moronic administrators who appear to be puppets of the mafia? Will they tenaciously dismiss the evidence and pursue a lenient charge?
IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT PARALYZED IN ITS FUNCTIONS TO UPHOLD JUSTICE?