4 August, 2021

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Justice Is Blind, Truly Blind To A 11 Year Old

By Tush Wickramanayaka

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?

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Latest comments

  • 18
    2

    This is a terrible state of affairs and nobody comes out smelling of roses.

    One cannot but wonder why Tush Wickramanayaka persists in putting her children through this unacceptable state of affairs. Is Gateway the only school in town? I think not.

    • 6
      7

      For her to get the two children admitted in another institution she has to put together a fortune once again to pay for the school building fund or a nonrefundable deposit. Might is right. Not right is might. I have no idea who or what Tush is. I hate it to be in her shoes. Watching it from the side walk I feel that the Principal and the Management Team are inflexible. They must show some understanding and magnanimity which is an alien mental state to Srilankans.

    • 16
      4

      This Tush Wickramanayaka knows enough English to write but has not enough finesse to write sanely. What exaggeration. She speaks of her son being “publicly crucified”. Really, has he been buried in sepulchre or catacomb?
      .
      Some ” blood thirsty mad dogs” are said to have started a “WhatsApp group”. That is some new fangled communication tool “exclusively” used by humans. When I see human beings described as “animals”, I stop reading.
      .
      To cap it all, “hancho pancha” says it would cost “a fortune” to admit her children to another school. Rubbish! Most schools in Sri Lanka are very nearly free. This is not a fight for Fundamental Rights. All of this has been written by a woman obsessed by her supposed “entitlement” to something better than the average humans around her.
      .
      I commented on the earlier piece about this story partly because my grandmother’s maiden name was Wikremanayake. But my relatives always spelt their name without a “c”. Never mind that eccentricity. Thank God I’m connected neither to her or the Gateway School.
      .
      I hope that CT will start focussing on more real problems. If in education, could you please tell us what is happening in St John’s College Jaffna where the Principal, Rev. Gnanaponrajah is accused of attempting to force himself on a young male teacher. Now those are real crimes.

      • 5
        7

        sinhala_man, I think you are bit off the top. You seem to be rather pompous than constructive.

        • 6
          3

          Yes, hancho_pancha,
          .
          Pomposity I have been accused of before – don’t know how to avoid it. The reality is that I’m a poor retired teacher in Uva.
          .
          How to be constructive in this sort of situation. This “Thush” seems incapable of “seeing ourselves as others see us.”

          • 4
            4

            How to be constructive in this sort of situation. This “Thush” seems incapable of “seeing ourselves as others see us.” by Sinhala_Man.
            This is a double edge sword. It cuts both ways.
            I had one of my children in an International School and know it full well how they take advantage of the hapless. Parents and teachers become the brunt of greed.

            • 8
              2

              Dear hancho pancha,
              .
              I have been a “Sinhala game iskole mahattaya”, have visited many of the most neglected schools (on estates, without knowing any Tamil), and I have taught in the best International Schools (British School, the best possible for a Sri Lankan student – Overseas, Battaramulla is way too expensive – about a million Sri Lankan rupees per month), and Colombo International School (where all the Bond Scamming crooks were educated).
              .
              I have also been a proper Assistant Lecturer (i.e not an Instructor), in the Department of English, Peradeniya, teaching some of the most fluent users of English. I won’t say that I have always been a great success, but I can judge what is what. My daughters have been educated in the best Anglican schools, and now I have two grand-daughters at Ladies’ College, Flower Road.
              .
              However, I live on a paltry pension in Uva. If you want to be sure that such strange fellows really exist, click here and navigate to two earlier articles.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/
              .
              I’m just about getting ready to launch the next attack on the system. There may be problems with teachers, but the rot starts at the very top. The administrations are crooked from top to bottom. Their solution is to pretend that I don’t exist. The villagers probably don’t understand that if it is English that they need, I can give them almost all that they need.
              .
              Take it seriously when I say that they cheat. The Anglican Priest-Headmaster of St John’s Jaffna, (married with kids) is right now being investigated by a retired District judge for kissing and groping a thirty-year-old male teacher. What more do you want? Note that I reveal my identity when saying all this.
              .

              • 2
                6

                Sinhala_Man. If I were you I would choose some other pastime like playing marbles. That would give CT readers a break.

  • 7
    7

    Tush Wickramanayaka’s describes the torment, hassle and bullying her own children were and are being put through not only by schoolmates but also by staff Gateway, Negombo.
    Tush’s angst is understandable and her indefatigable efforts seeking justice is admirable. She is standing up on behalf of several other parents.
    .
    Tush has, quite rightly, complained to HRCSL. One incident says it all.
    Tush produced compelling evidence that a Ms Kusum of HRCSL had discussed Tush’s complaint with her family members.
    HRCSL closed the case because the Ms K undertook not to repeat the mistake.
    .
    We, layLankans, support Tush.

    • 4
      2

      K.Pillai,
      .
      I know that your concerns are sincere, but think about what I have just told “hancho pancha”. No doubt, it’ll take two or three hours to appear.

  • 12
    6

    She is raising Two issues here. One is about how Private schools run their businesses and how rich parents got screwed up. Secondly, I heard that the school was OWNED by a politician, I am wondering what is going on. Why she is not talking about that part of the story. For sure, children’s every thing is being sacrificed for some reason and one of the parents is trying hard to acheive something at the expense of the childrrn. Even the wording used as a mother is simply disparaging. The other question is why the mother is hysterical and paranoid, where is the father. I was talking about the thr word GANG RAPE used by a mother. You look like a typical psychotic – paranoia case.

  • 12
    3

    Yes we must support Tush for courageously standing up against injustice.

    She could have run away and protected her children.

    Her innocent children suffers for non of their fault

    Bur someone has to take a stand and fight for justice.

    There is no easy way out

  • 7
    3

    One should try and look at Tush Wickremanayake’s plight from the broader perspective of child abuse and the silent suffering of many hundreds and thousands of parents who don’t have the ability, the access and of course the bravery of Wickremanayake to come out in the open about her own children. Some have mentioned about changing the school that her children attend. That is the not the issue. and in fact changing schools will let the particular school off the hook. I recall reading in her previous article that it was the choice of her children to stay where they are and fight this issue. That takes a lot of courage, and must be applauded. Wickremanayake has highlighted the impotence of our system when it comes to safeguarding our children and how power and influence can make fodder of our children. Readers would have noted the much publicised attack on a school ruggerite by the coach and also the attack on a student by a Principal because the student had said Butterflies do not have legs. These are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to child abuse in the country. If the deterrents are strong and effective by taking action on offenders and institutions that are perpetuating these offences, our children will not get abused.

  • 1
    2

    What baldedash.When did one enjoy justice in this forsaken place.It had been and is run by thugs / backbone less characters. Crooks ar a galore. Mrs Tucsh W, my advice is get out of this stinking rut with your children.

  • 2
    1

    Dear CT. My case is far more tragic, a national catastrophe and a disaster. I am anxious and please do let me know how I can get it out to your readership as Dr. Tush Wickremenayake has done. Thank you.

  • 4
    1

    I would remove my kids from such an establishment if they were bullied like this. This is organizational bullying, no matter how you demand justice, there will be malice and ill will from teachers and staff. Get your children into a menatlly healthier environment.

    • 2
      5

      Gateway Colleges are notorious for taking revenge on students. No parents or students can fight for their rights, owner says if you don’t like here, please take your kids else where

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