26 October, 2020

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Not Only One! There Are Two Children At Kotadeniyawa: An Open Letter To The PM

By Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I hope you are rather settled in your prime ministerial seat now, and your president and Foreign Minister have handled the Geneva quite well, it seems. So, now you have some respite to read this letter. I have chosen to send this letter this way because I am sure, like all politicians, you have appointed a bunch of supporting staff to make sure that only the letters by powerful lobbies get delivered to your desk and priority lists. I have also chosen write this letter to you because I know that our president is busy introducing his son to some powerful men and women in the world.

Let me cut to the chase. Speaking of ‘chase’, you must have heard that Sri Lankan police stationed at Kotadeniyawa chased down the murderer of Seya Sandamini – that child of five – three years younger than my own daughter. I will refrain from further sensationalizing that murder story. Sinhala press – including the papers belong to your own family – interestingly enough there are only a few papers that are not somehow connected with your family – has sensationalized the story so much that people’s anger at that murder is far greater than their understanding of social conditions that create such tragedies. That anger was primarily directed at the suspects. Media reporting, ideally, should lead to understanding not to anger. As a son of a journalist you know that already. Anger is understandable; but it needs to be followed by the calming effects of an understanding. That understanding must not of a religious kind that teaches us the nature of life or karma but rather it needs to be of a social kind that teaches us of the nature of our society which is primarily under your prime ministerial care.

Seya Sandamini’s death is sad, wrong, tragic and it must not have happened. For that death, however, the entire socio-cultural situation is responsible. That includes even our thoughts and customs of bringing up children. Our thoughts of parenting need to be rethought. Mr. PM, perhaps you know already that Lanka is not very child friendly. Our country is ‘politician friendly.’ It is as simple as that. Your responsibility is to make that country safe again for people, especially children. You must have heard of some rating systems where some cities, townships, neighborhoods are rated as “most child-friendly” and so on. I myself have raised a son in a city that was named several times as “the most child-friendly city” of that country. If you are interested I can tell you more on that.

For Seya’s death we all are responsible. But for what happened to the second child the responsibility lies with the department of Police, and I am writing this letter to hold you responsible as well.

The second child is the one arrested by the Kotadeniyawa Branch of Sri Lanka police. Not only that your police men, Mr. Prime Minister, arrested the boy but also they released the information about his arrest to the media. Our media being our media did not cross-check anything but carried the story in full. But that was not the real story. It was the police story.

Mr. PM, your police has done it again. They have tortured the boy. And they of course destroyed the boy’s good name during those weeks of his custody. They said, the boy’s computer had asabya photos. The adjective asabya can mean many things. At the literal level it could mean ‘uncultured or obscene.’ Often those who have power, any form of political, cultural and on, can name anything they like ‘asabya.’ If it refers some nude photos that are supposed to have been found in the boy’s computer, those photos were in his personal computer, and he did not display them in public. Furthermore, the police has power to interpret anything as asabya and threaten the boy confess to Seya’s killing. That is exactly what they have done.

Now the boy has been released, and, quite bravely, he has spoken up. He has already told the press(on 02nd of October) that he has been beaten badly. While all as a society is responsible for Seya’s death and the lack of security for children, for the arrest and torture of this 17 year-old school boy Sri Lankan state and its arm called “police” are entirely responsible. Pretty much same time as the presidential son was having a great time in New York, Sri Lankan police has had a great time beating this son.

Mr. Prime minister, I have chosen write you this letter so that I can easily share it with the world. I you will be able to take an action that can be shared with world without any shame.

No need to reply, Mr. PM, but you need to act!

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Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    Well said. It was a damn shame that police cruelty on an innocent 17 year old has only managed to assassinate his character and destroy his future. Everyone of us have passed through that age in life and we know what its like, including those PC’s who arrested and tortured him, may even have their own kids, but this is the worst kind of psychological torture that a kid of that age has been made to undergo. That kid must definitely be lavishly compensated for the pain of mind he underwent, and I wish this gathers momentum and support to bring justice to that kid, and the Policeman involved in the cruelty be punished and sent for rehabilitation.

  • 4
    0

    Not Only One! There Are Two Children At Kotadeniyawa: An Open Letter To The PM

    True, it is a social responsibility towards children; two sides of a coin, that is antisocial culprits on one side and the so called protectors on the other side and coin is the rupturing of social responsibility towards children.

    Thanks for the DNA technology in that release of that 17 years old, and early as possible release thanks for the Police ego did not emerge.
    In May 2015 as you all know there was a Gang Rape, Torture and murder of a 18 year old student S. Vidhya on the way to her school in Punkudutheevu, the DNA report has not been submitted to the courts yet. Here I am not talking for any of the suspects, but contrasting influence on the police on the above Seya Sandamini’s police was pressurized to make a breakthrough early, in Vidhya’s case even though trial-at-bar proceeding is going on, the culprits are somewhat politically powerful, have wealth as well.
    My point here is undue pressure on the police to act fast or to hold on for time passing both are curse to our children!
    Child Protection Authority complaints that 4000, cases of child abuse are pending in the courts, There is a rape case of 8 year old, but victim has just turned 20, still no justice, Surely she will become a victim 2nd time when begins her second part of life, though I pray social concern prevail on her.
    No wonder the International Community has studied us very well.

  • 4
    0

    “”what happened to the second child the responsibility lies with the department of Police!”.

    yes there are some psychopaths and sex maniacs with in the police also.
    Even the police told to moda media that the child as a ganja addict. And took him to somewhere to torture him, to take sexual advantages from him
    the police should check first how of their own officers are ganja addicts and how many of them have sex photos and videos on their mobile phones.

    they, the police killed another innocent child’s future also.

    now a days if they do like this, We can imagine how the police behaved In the war affected areas in north and east.

  • 2
    0

    It looks like, through internet, twiter and face book, Sri lanka also has got serial pedophiles and serial killers.

    Police need to be focused in this and be trained.

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