19 September, 2019

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Royal Institute Acts Supremely Above The Law

Whilst disregarding the Supreme Court ruling, the Director of Royal Institute Nirodha Bandara who earlier insulted the three Bench Judges as being ‘heartless’, continues to blatantly run her institution by demonstrating that she is above the law.

Dr. Nirodha Bandara

Earlier in early April 2019, the illegally constructed building that housed the Nugegoda Branch of Royal Institute was ordered to be demolished and the business license to operate an international school in that premise was also ordered cancelled.

The Judge reading out the verdict, ordered the Urban Development Authority and the Municipal Council of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, who as the 1st and 2nd respondents in the case to demolish all illegal constructions pertaining to the buildings on premises bearing assessment Nos.10 and 12, Chapel Lane, Nugegoda and for the Municipal Council of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte to cancel all permits (if any) granted to Royal Institute, the 9th Respondent in the case, to carry on business of an International School at Chapel Lane Nugegoda.

The three month period lapsed last month.

Nirodha Bandara’s demonstrated behavior now endorses the statement Minister Ranjan Ramanayake made earlier, when he stated that many rulings provided by the courts of Sri Lanka are not executed due to the interference of Politicians.

However it is interesting to note that when Member of Parliament S.B. Dissanayake had publicly ridiculed the judiciary he was jailed for two years for being in contempt of court when the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was in power.

This incident also clearly indicates that the judicial process lacks consistency in Sri Lanka.

A resident and one of the complainants speaking to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity said “With this current Yahapalanaya government in power Nirodha Bandara is making a mockery of our judicial system. How can she act above the law and disregard a Supreme Court ruling? She certainly has some powerful backing from this present government. Hopefully this Yahapalanaya government will not last too long for the role they are playing in this matters such as this.”

Soon after the Supreme Court ruling was made in early April 2019, Nirodha Bandara addressing parents of students, teachers and staff made a bold statement threatening the Supreme Court three Judge Bench ruling when she went on to say “We will exhaust all our possible options legally and also politically and we will try everything possible.”

“She is clearly executing the threat she made by continuing to run the school. Wonder which Politician is behind this and supporting her in the background?” another neighbourhood resident complained.

The ruling was given by the judges as 16 residents of Chapel Lane Nugegoda filed a Fundamental Rights case bearing number SC/FR 621/2010, for the illegal manner that the school had been built besides operating an International school illegally without a license.

The three member Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprised of Justices Sisira de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena and L.T.B Dehideniya.

This was as their fundamental right as residents of the neighbourhood were being violated in many ways.

Citing certain technical clauses to substantiate their case, they highlighted the fact that Royal Institute Nugegoda Branch was wrongfully carrying on a business of an International School in contravention of the Development Plan – Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte Municipal Council Area (Zoning Regulations) 2008-2020 and that the said Chapel Lane is situated in a Mixed Development Zone and educational institutes are not permitted to be established there.

The complainants also stated that the school was illegally constructing a fourteen storied building on approximately 25 perches of land bearing assessment No.12 Chapel Lane abutting a twenty feet road.

Another reason stated was that the residents were being greatly inconvenienced especially due to traffic congestion which has hampered daily activities of the residents. The noise caused by the said school and the traffic congestion have made residing and travelling along the said Chapel Lane a near impossibility.

The Judge reading out the verdict, ordered the Urban Development Authority and the Municipal Council of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, who as the 1st and 2nd respondents in the case to demolish all illegal constructions pertaining to the buildings on premises bearing assessment Nos.10 and 12, Chapel Lane, Nugegoda and for the Municipal Council of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte to cancel all permits (if any) granted to Royal Institute, the 9th Respondent in the case, to carry on business of an International School at Chapel Lane Nugegoda.

During the Supreme Court proceedings it was also stated that the Royal Institute did not have a license to operate an International School at the said premises at Chapel Road Nugegoda.

The license that the Royal Institute of the Nugegoda Branch had was to merely conduct Computer and English lessons.

Meanwhile Nirodha Bandara’s father businessman and Chairman of Royal Institute International School G.T. Bandara also issued a letter earlier to parents rebuffing the ruling that the three Judge bench of the Supreme Court had made earlier regarding the demolishing of the illegally constructed Nugegoda Branch building and also cancelling of its license to operate an International School in its premise.

Chairman Bandara also went on to scorn the order given by the three Judges of the Supreme Court judgement by stating that the ruling given regarding the illegal construction of the school building was incorrect.(By Janaka Ranaweera)

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Latest comments

  • 35
    1

    They are receiving backing of Pohottuwa controlled municipal council

  • 12
    3

    Please link to the original article where the audio of the speech was published.

    IIRC the allegations made by this author on what the RI founder said was totally unfounded. I commented on that article at that time.

    This author has repeated the same allegations in this article.

    I know Gota may have monies invested in RI. I don’t like Gota and I am happy to find wrongs done by him.

    But false allegation is false allegation. We need truth. That’s what you are here for.

    Please republish the audio. Thanks.

    • 13
      0

      SCHOOL SONG

      [From the School Song]
      … … …
      We learn the rights and wrongs to be
      Loyal citizens of our land
      Under the wings of Royal Institute
      Our Alma Mater, guiding light,
      … … …

      Yeah, right

    • 5
      0

      Rizwan,
      .
      If you really want that audio I will locate it tomorrow, and post it below this. It’s almost 2.00 a.m., I need sleep!
      .
      However, here’s a link to the last of the articles that were published before the Sinhala New Year. You will see that I have predicted that there will be no demolition – and I will continue to maintain that nothing will happen.
      .
      If you scroll down, you will see that I have done more than just write there. I telephoned them many times, and even sent an e-mail to some address that I was provided with, telling these people that I had been a “gambada iskola mahattaya” but that I wouldn’t mind consistently saying something in defence of the school. Royal Institute is not all that exploitative as a school. There’s too much emphasis on academic work – i.e. the passing of exams.
      .
      I have two grandchildren. No, this is not the sort of school that they are in, but even in their school, the teachers teach too much. Pressure from competitive parents. The elder kid is protesting about it. What is important is that children learn. “Home-schooling”? No, I don’t advocate it in Sri Lanka. Actually, my daughter (their mother) worked in a Bank for 12 years, four of them as Manager. She has not worked since the children were born. That is how seriously we take education.
      .
      What I found disappointing was that neither Dr Nirodha Bandara, nor her father, who started as a Maths tuition master, responded in any way to my well-meant messages – which you will see referred to.
      .
      I know that leafy suburb of Nugegoda near the Baptist Church. It’s a good residential area. There are much more abject conditions elsewhere in Sri Lanka. Let me show you some estate line-rooms in Uva, or in Wanathamulla. I agree that the Supreme Court ought to be respected. Can we, after knowing so many things that have happened?

      • 5
        0

        Sinhala_Man,

        “You will see that I have predicted that there will be no demolition – and I will continue to maintain that nothing will happen.”

        Thanks for your prediction. Unfortunately laws, other regulation and even SC Orders are not implemented in our country. I did not know that you were active in this case calling and mailing people. Thank you for your effort.

        • 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

        • 2
          0

          Yes, dear “Tution Master” I followed up with a consistency that may seem strange given that there was no way that I could benefit at all, because Education is so important that somebody must look around and express what is to be so clearly seen – that the Emperor is naked. In Education today, “anything goes”.
          .
          I’m sure that you, too, realise that, while there is good work going on in places, this is obscured by people speaking out only when they, personally, have a problem. The big picture – it is so ugly that we’d better not look at it at all. When naming yourself you could not have been unaware that the spelling of that word is “tuition”, but that many drop the letter that does not seem to get pronounced in Sri Lanka. You may not necessarily know that in most countries that letter is pronounced, so that the word has three syllables and not two as we use it. “tu-i-tion”. The rest of your writing is such that I sense that you are a person who would appreciate the “correction”.
          .
          Given that I have you, and other “elites” reading this, may I elaborate on what I have just said, since it has much wider applicability. I know that I sometimes misjudge the effect of exposing nakedness, but even at that risk, let me select a few telling examples, and highlight them during the next few days.
          .
          tbc

  • 1
    1

    Rizwan,
    Click on the highlighted word ‘heartless’ in the first para. It takes you to the link where the story and audio is available.

  • 9
    0

    I think residents should go to courts and complain saying urban council chairman has neglected the court order and probably he can be charged with contempt of court.

  • 2
    1

    Last time the school was accused of using students to launch a campaign against CT is social media.

    If Supreme Court is not enforcing its verdict, nobody wants to follow it.
    Supreme Court is losing its respect voluntarily, it seems. This is public interest case. It should have acted on its own after the passage of certain time of its earlier judgement.

  • 3
    1

    In SL, Breakdown in Law & Order and Above-the-Law Actions by those with political clout feed each other and is out of control.
    The building at issue here did not appear overnight. During construction, what were the Urban Development Authority and the Municipal Council of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, doing?
    If illegally constructions are demolished, then several buildings of the Colombo Elites may have to go too.
    .
    S B Dissanayake is not a good example to compare. He hops fences for personal gains. As Minister of Sports he is alleged to have harassed athletes. As Minister of Higher Education, as to what he did to the house and property gifted by the late Dr Siva Chinnathamby to Colombo University Medical Faculty is well known.

    • 4
      0

      @K. Pillai We would like to know what SB did to the house & property gifted to UoC Medical Faculty by late Dr Siva Chinnathamby

  • 3
    0

    Give an exact definition to “international school” & ban every school that doesn’t adhere to standards.

  • 2
    1

    Tuition master Bandara was instrumental in draining the AL programme at Aquinas College. He will do any thing under the sun to make money. Law and order. Ethics and morals are not known to this duo

    • 3
      0

      Thanks, Mr Perera.
      .
      It may take a day or two, but I will send you a pretty comprehensive response.
      .
      I don’t know Mr Bandara personally; however, I agree that none of us are saints.
      .
      Whatever I send will be verifiable, not personal anecdotes.

      • 3
        0

        Dear Mr Perera,
        .
        I have no time to give you all the details today . My conjecture is that you are a devout Catholic, and can’t take it when somebody voices even muted criticism of the Church.
        .
        I live in Bandarawela. I sat my GAQ in December 1980. (It was “the University of Peradeniya External GAQ of 1979”, and the results came only 51 weeks later – after I got it raised in Parliament by that M.P. who was physically a giant – Sivasiththamparam, I think – race just didn’t really matter upto 1983.) I travelled to Aquinas every weekend for two years (exams got postponed). M.I. Kuruvilla for English, and Mrs Moldrich for Western Classical Culture. I wanted Philosophy as my third subject. The Rector, Rev. Dr Don Peter, was a horrible man. I met him. He condescendingly told me that they kept this GAQ going only because some teachers wanted to it, but they were losing money. I told him that I’d have expected a Catholic Institution like his to subsidise a subject like Philosophy. He was furious and ordered me out of his office.
        .
        Actually, some of the best students were some young Colombo “girls” who were genuinely interested in English Literature. The main income of Aquinas was from a Diploma in English which carried some weight with employers because the reputation of Aquinas was high – Tissa Balasuriya had been a good Rector. They came in hordes.
        .
        I joined the Economics class, but it folded up after four months (in which time I did learn something from Mr Dalpadadu). Dalpadadu was a nice man, but a dull teacher. He was on a monthly salary from Aquinas. He offered to teach me Philosophy, but there were few takers.

        • 1
          0

          PART FOUR (too late to correct the earlier mistake in sequencing).
          .
          Thanks, Oracle.
          .
          That was unexpected.
          I thought I was rambling.

          Well, our fortune turned. There were three of us who were especially keen on Philosophy. Jagath Senaratne, whom I’ve lost contact with, Rev. Fr Victor Silva who was later Rector of St Joseph’s, and me.
          .
          Rev. Dr Harold Panditharatne, Rector of the Ampitiya, Kandy, Seminary, had scrapped his London A. Level Logic class at St Joseph’s and the batch junior to us was given Fr Panditharatne for Philosophy. With our exam postponed, we naturally paid up and followed. He began with Symbolic Logic and he was brilliant; took immense pains not only to prepare, but also to make it interesting. So, he told us, deadpan, that P&Q was identical with Q&P, but in real life it was not true of “They had children. & They got married”.
          .
          For the other, Problems of Philosophy paper, he suggested that I read a huge book by John Hospers. And so I did.
          .
          He was absent-minded about surroundings, and impersonal, but had noted the three of us. He was devastated when we told him that we’d be missing after two terms of work because we were now sitting our proper exam, and not long after I’m afraid he had stopped coming – the inspiration gone with only “exam-passing” students left. We knew that, sensitive soul that he was, he didn’t much like Don Peter. When I was at Peradeniya, doing Philosophy for my sub, something similar happened. They wanted him for some visiting lectures. His brother, Leslie, was Vice-Chancellor. He didn’t approve of some of his brother’s actions and kept away, although he was a head and shoulders above most of the Professors.

      • 2
        0

        PART THREE
        .
        So, I searched everywhere for teachers.
        Got at a Dr Mrs Thirunawakarasu, who was very good, but she would not teach us for the amount I said a group of us could raise. However, she gave me two free sessions and suggested that I read a book by H.H. Titus. Aquinas had an excellent library of oldish books. I was borrowing also from the British Council and the American Centre (by then at Flower Road, opposite Ladies College). Titus was in the Aquinas library – not used by anybody. About 900 pages. I summarised it chapter by chapter as my notes. I still have them, had to stop my wife throwing them away. About 300 sheets, double-sided. Followed some lessons at Wesley College – walking distance from Aquinas, managed the time-table. Doddering old man there was no good. Do you get me? If so, I’ll omit irrelevant details.
        .
        Kuruvilla was also on monthly pay. A first rate teacher, despite physical handicaps. Hadn’t spoken to Don Peter for years. If the one saw the other, he’d get on to the other side of the quadrangle. Mrs Moldrich was paid Rs 20 (sic) per hour of teaching Western Classical Culture. She did it for the love of the subject. She was simultaneously a visiting lecturer at Kelaniya and Peradeniya Universities. She was later to teach me a few things at Peradeniya (where I did an English Special). Both these teachers insisted on our submitting regular tutorials. I submitted a record number. My success I owed to these wonderful teachers – and the libraries. During the week, I had my teaching of elementary English in Bandarawela M.M.V. Dreadfully boring work, but I did it conscientiously, because it is socially so important.

        • 3
          0

          Sinhala Man
          Sir , you are an absolute delight to read . May your pen never run out of ink !

        • 0
          1

          Sinhala Man may have a brilliant command of the language but isn’t he sinister and beats the bush. Probably his forte was philosophy as he is beating the bush without shooting the rabbit (this is the hallmark of so call philosophers.) I hear that Rev Panditharantne himself was a double PHD but produced none other than some form of confusion with no literary production to his name at least to know him fully.

          I do not understand why this Sinhala man has to explain irrelevant Aquinas history as if he is wanting the onlooker and the reader to know his own past. I am not interested at all. What is the relevance to the article, the subject of our discussion – Mr Bandara and his scant respect to law.
          Get your act right man whoever you are, hiding under pseudonym.

      • 1
        0

        PART FIVE
        .
        To return to my theme of how Don Peter treated his staff
        : Kuruvilla and “Molly” continued to teach us without pay, right upto the exam. I don’t really fault the Rector for that. Aquinas couldn’t be run as a charitable institution. We, the students, passed a hat around before sitting the exam. Kuruvilla and Molly were appalled when they received the Book Vouchers – the times and the values were different.
        .
        Kuruvilla was particularly fond of me – refused to teach me for the Degree, saying that I had to go to Peradeniya for the much more that I could get from there. He it was who told me that there had been two brilliant men in other fields at Aquinas: Dr Joachim and Mr Bandara. They had been treated shabbily, he said.
        .
        So, that’s it, Mr Perera. You may not find this conclusive proof of what I said, but Bandara may not be just a mercenary. If you followed the link that I gave you to the April article, you would have seen that there was a certain Mr S. who knows Bandara well, but doesn’t want to interfere in any way, because Bandara is rather unpredictable, although a good and generous guy.
        .
        Anyway, today, the 29th August, I rang Mrs Kalhari Edirisinghe, whom I had spoken to earlier. She was nice – no relative of mine. She didn’t know about this August article. She said that they’d probably continue to ignore the Demolition Order. However, she also said that it was sad that the order of the highest Court in the land is getting ignored. Where, then are we to turn to, in this land of ours? In other words, these are not people without a conscience.

        • 0
          1

          Thank you Sinhala Man to tell me that Banadra was treated shabbily. I do not understand but if you speak to the previous Rector Fr Chrispin he would tell you that there was no shabby treatment but it was his ego and desire to break away for his own and selfish motives. I did my London A/L soon after Bandara left Aquinas and all the lecturers bore testimony that Bandara was ego centric and selfish and did have an uppish mentality and approach towards the administration at Aquinas hence his departure to start Royal Institute.

          However in the light of the subject of our discussion, the law has it written if you do not obey it then there is punitive sanction that follows non compliance. This should clearly apply to the Bandara due without any reservation. They may be rich and influential but MUST submit to the ambit of the law of the country. DEMOLISH the building.

          • 1
            0

            Dear Mr Perera,
            .
            True it is that the only real evidence that MR G.T. Bandara was treated shabbily was that Mr Kuruvilla told me so, and that cannot now be checked because Mr Kuruvilla passed away more than twenty years ago.
            .
            I’ve given you lots of details of what happened to us students because I wanted to make it clear to you that I had genuinely been a student at Aquinas. You have given us no details of what you did at Aquinas except the vague “did my London A/L”. Could you please name some of “all the lecturers” who condemned Bandara – who is a man whom I haven’t met. I trust you have used the link provided by me to the April 2019 Article and comments. There I have passed on to you some impressions of the character of Bandara. Yes, owing to his background making him feel insecure he may have acted uppish as you say. Doesn’t that statement make sense?
            .
            Mr Perera, with only your commonest of all surnames, you are as good as anonymous. More precise identification of yourself, please. I don’t know “Oracle’s” real name, but most regular CT readers know that my name is Panini Edirisinhe. I have written a few articles under that name. You seem desirous of identifying me. Google, please.

            • 0
              0

              I have named the Rector of the college for verification purpose if you still desire to make findings about the person of Bandara.
              Meanwhile be confirmed that I have not looked at any of your links and in fact I need to remind you that this forum is not meant for personal friendships or identifications and in fact6 I will remember you by my own judgement of your intellectual integrity and soundness of mind and not by reference to some google.

              • 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

              • 2
                0

                Nasty Perera,
                .
                You have ended one of your comments with these words:
                .
                “DEMOLISH the building.”
                .
                You seem to enjoy destroying things, don’t you? What I see clearly in the little that you have said is that you are envious of Bandara’s success. Is there no way in which Sri Lanka can get rid of guys like you? I guess the Supreme Court could order that you be “demolished”.
                .
                I do feel a little sorry for you because you have said it yourself – you have no friends. Not surprising, you don’t deserve any.
                .
                Who do you think that you are to decide that friendships should not begin on this forum? Actually, the guidelines for the website solicit that we try to be friendly. I don’t want you as a friend, but I do want to get to know Mr Henry Fernando.

  • 6
    0

    It is a disgrace to the entire nation and particularly to the past and present Governments. (with emphasis to Yahapalana boastful Govt.) The Judiciary is helpless as their judgements are openly brought to utter ridicule, This is the legacy inherited by the Judiciary handed over by the previous regime and theYahapalanaya is well and truly following suit. Take a cue from the message of Mr. Nagananda without shooting the messenger. We will not advance one inch forward as a Nation if we do not cause Justice to take it’s course but as things are the chances are very remote. Only option is to get rid of the present so called peoples representatives and send them to the forgotten Limbo, and vote for true patriotic citizens who are honest and capable , but please make sure that you will not make that historical blunder by electing any past member or a politician who are masquerading as saviours of our Country and Buddhism.

    • 2
      0

      Henry,
      .
      Could you please contact me. Individually, we can do little, but together we could achieve the changes we desire.

  • 1
    0

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