12 December, 2019

Blog

Royal Institute: Viyathmaga Kamal Gunaratne To Use Parents To Picket Against Supreme Court Ruling

Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne the Administration Director of Royal Institute has instructed parents of children studying at Royal Institute Nugegoda Branch to convene for two meetings to plan a picket against the Supreme Court order given last Wednesday, to demolish the Nugegoda Branch and the cancelling of the International School’s operating license.

Kamal Gunaratne

The two meetings are scheduled to be held tomorrow 6th April 2019 at 3pm and on Monday the 8th April 2019 at 6pm at 92, Sunethra Devi Road Kohuwela Nugegoda.

The date and time of the picket or strike that Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne wishes to use the parents will be decided at these meetings.

A parent of one of the students of Royal Institute Nugegoda Branch speaking on condition of anonymity to Colombo Telegraph confirmed this by saying “Kamal Gunaratne is stupid if he thinks we parents are going to go against the Supreme Court ruling. These guys are cunning and crafty. He harassed our children and now he wants our support to bail the school out. This is nothing but emotional blackmail.”

Meanwhile yesterday businessman and Chairman of Royal Institute International School G.T. Bandara issued a letter to parents rebuffing the ruling that the three Judge bench of the Supreme Court made regarding the demolishing of the illegally constructed Nugegoda Branch building and also cancelling of its license to operate an International School in its premise.

In his letter Chairman G.T. Bandara ridiculed the order given by the three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court and stated that he would never put the lives of the children in danger by developing anything without approval. “The proof for this is available” he wrote.

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.

His letter further stated “Further the judgement states that, according to the Zoning Regulations of 2008-2020 educational institutes are not permitted be established in this area. However at the time of commencement of the school in 1993, this regulation was not in effect. This may even affect other international schools in the same zone, and these schools are also highly concerned about this matter”. (By Janaka Ranaweera)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 4
    35

    Of course this ruling of the SC is childish. They must have first understood that this is a fully functional school, not a boutique or a supermarket.
    Besides, the Royal Institute has existed in this location for 26 years since 1993.
    Why nobody bothered for so many years? Someone’s malice against the school seem to have gone too far.
    Unless the Zoning Regulations of 2008-2020 was BACKDATED, it is not applicable to Royal Institute as it was in operation for 15 years, well before these regulations were introduced.
    What really happened in this case? Why didn’t the school make representations prior to this court order? Or was this court ruling came out of the blue?
    Someone seem to have misled the SC.

    • 13
      5

      Champa

      “Of course this ruling of the SC is childish”

      You are right, our judges can’t, and that is why we have been always telling we need foreign judges on the important that involving citizens of this country.

      • 5
        8

        blabla
        Really? Didn’t you praise Sri Lanka Judiciary when they annulled President’s gazette notification dissolving Parliament?
        You can’t bring in foreign judges according to your whims and fancies. In order to do that changes have to be made in the Constitution and then it should passed by 2/3 majority in Parliament followed by a Referendum with people’s approval. Next time don’t talk rubbish.
        It is clear SC has been misled in this case.

    • 20
      4

      No! it’s not childish! The residence of Chapel Road took Royal Institute to court as the school is situated in a highly residential area and the residence are unable to use the road in the morning and in the afternoon! The road is so narrow that only two cars can pass each other! There is no pavement and the road is closed by Royal Institute for traffic in the morning when the residence leave to go to their work place I have been on Chapel Road for over half an hour to get out of the traffic created by the school! It is very irresponsible of Mr Bandara to set up a school with over 2000 student in a congested area. The case has been going on for years and the judgement is much appreciated!

      • 5
        5

        Ruwan
        You are not the only one, many have used this road for a long time. This entire road is narrow.
        It is the government which gave the permission to start a school in the area. Given the narrowness of the lane, the government should have restricted the number of children who could be enrolled to the school. Even Lyceum is situated on a narrow lane. Railway Avenue is also congested.
        Losing a school for 2000 children is a serious case.
        These children, the majority are small kids, will be heartbroken, depressed and sad.
        Demolishing a school to ease the traffic jam is childish, when there are alternatives, as follows:-
        1)Employing a school traffic warden to control morning/afternoon traffic.
        2)Demarcating an area in front of the school as a pedestrian walk, at least 50 meters from the gate from both sides, with only residents be allowed to drive through. All the school vans/private vehicles could be asked to park away from this area and make children/parents walk this 50 meter distance.
        3)Setting up “walking school buses” on the top of the Chapel Lane on both sides to avoid school vans/private vehicles entering the lane. “Walking school buses” means parents taking turns to walk children to the school from the top of the Chapel Lane or if the distance is too far, from the middle of the lane. Parents can either volunteer and/or be on a roster. During harsh weather, (1) and (2) above can be implemented.
        Ordering to demolish a school in 3 months, which existed for 26 years is impractical. 2008-2020 zoning had come much later. If the case has been going on for years, then the court could have asked the school to provide alternatives until the case was finalized.

        • 2
          2

          Champa,

          Please get your facts right! The government did not give the land to Mr Bandara to establish an International School on Chapel Road. The alternatives you have stated are not practical as all buildings are very close to the Road. Though traffic wardens were assigned they couldn’t control the traffic! Demarcation 50 meters from the front of the building? don’t make me laugh! there is less than 5 meters from the road to the buildings! It is obvious you have never visited the site! Chapel lane is so narrow that two buses can’t pass each other leave aside parking! There is hardly any parking space. Top of Chapel Lane is Chapel Road as chapel Road branches off to Chapel lane! your suggestions are not practical!!!
          You are in this forum as the author of this article has roped in Kamal Gunaratne who had nothing to do with the closure of Royal Institute! His name has been dragged into this forum just to get the support of the LTTE diaspora that comment on this site! It is a shame that CT editor publish such articles to promote racial hatred! Kamal Guneratne had tendered his resignation three months ago!

          • 0
            2

            Ruwan
            Next time read my comment before replying. There are so many misquotes.
            1.) I never said government gave a land to Bandara.
            2.) My alternatives have nothing to do with the building’s close proximity to the road.
            3.) Do you know who is a Traffic Warden? His job is to control traffic. How could you say he can’t control the traffic?
            4.) I said AT LEAST 50 meters from the gate from both sides be demarcated as a “pedestrian walk.” That means the school should direct parents to not to park in that area.
            5.) Who talked about buses? I never suggested buses to be parked there. I suggested setting up of “walking school buses” from the top of the lane or at least from the middle of the lane and I explained what are WALKING school buses. Read my comment again.
            My suggestions are the most practical, as someone else has also copied.

            • 2
              0

              Champa,

              Government did not give permission to Mr Bandara to set up an International school on Chapel Road!
              Do you live down Chapel Road? I do! and I know what happened as I pass Royal Institute (RI) daily from the day it commenced when going to office ! The security guards of RI acted as Traffic Wardens but they could not control the traffic! There is no room for a car to be parked in front of RI even to drop a child without blocking the road as the road does not have pavement facility!! There is no “pedestrian walk” on this road!!! There is no room to park cars leave aside buses on top of Chapel Lane! Your suggestions are not at all practical! I am sure if there was any possibility to accommodate a school down Chapel Road the Supreme Court would have not taken such an harsh decision!

  • 21
    1

    It is unfortunate that in this country, the law and judicial orders are meant to be flouted. Now a decision was given with respect to the “waters-edge” case. Is it carried out? For sometime the hotel operated at a very low key but now it is going pell mell. Obviously military solutions will not work. Demonstrations? Er…Er. But corruption can work. OIL THE CORRECT GUYS AND/OR GALS. Then you are set for life. At all walks of life cash is king. I was told that the first law on money is that it is a liquid that can flow into any pocket.

    • 17
      2

      Good Sense

      “It is unfortunate that in this country, the law and judicial orders are meant to be flouted.”

      True, please take time to visit hotels built within the past twenty years or so. These hotels had flouted almost all building laws including encroaching land towards the sea shore which should belong to the ordinary people but now belong to the private hotel Mudalali’s including Chinese investors.

      The local government or tourist board functionaries are unable to take action against such encroachment simply because the Mudalalies have powerful contacts in Colombo.

      Remember in Kamal’s case he is a single handed ranaviru.
      He can do whatever he wants to whenever he wants to, no one dare punish him even if he rapes Sirisena’s mother, his wife, his daughters and son, ……………….

      • 9
        0

        Native Vedda,

        Is Kamal Gunatatna, the “Ranviru” , gay that he may even rape Sirisena’s son?

        Can Kamal rape Sirisena? Sirisena deserves it more than his son, for misleading and screwing 6.1 million voters.

    • 4
      0

      Hi Good Sense, that was a good one. “I was told that the first law on money is that it is a liquid that can flow into any pocket”.

      It flows even if a pocket is only a needle hole. There is a woman in Colombo who drives a car with the Dr.’s Car Pass of her Doctor husband who died in 2016. She seems to know this trick.

      This is Sri Lanka, the Lonely Planet.

  • 5
    23

    I’m a student at Royal Institute. It is the alumni that have organised this meeting to discuss our legal options as it concerns the right to education of 2000 kids – there will be no protesting whatsoever that I’m aware of. And to my knowledge, Mr Kamal Gunaratne has no role organising this meeting and nor has he instructed anyone to attend it. In my opinion, to accuse the chairman of “ridiculing” the Justices is an exaggeration when he is trying to point out his own children and grandchildren study at Royal Institute, Nuggegoda.

    • 4
      11

      Son, I am impressed.
      You are telling the Truth .
      And you have a good grasp of the Language to put it across ..
      – .
      The Royal Institute must be doing a fine Job honing those skills of our Youth,
      Unfortunately the great majority of the Inhabitant population do not have the means to send their kids to these private Educational Outfits ..

      This Forum is not about the Truth .
      It is about spinning the ” Truth” to meet ones needs ,
      And attack the opponents who do not meet their expectations .

      Wonder whether this Anonymous Parent is the one who couldn’t pay the Fees.
      Anyway if not for this Army Dude, these Royal Kids would have have had a tough time to find jobs after spending all that Dosh.
      Because Mr Pirahaparan and his Supporters in Colombo would have shut them out totally from the North and the East which is one third of the Land Mass.

      The parents who are paying the fees could have send their Kids at least to Bangladesh for further Studies and get good decent Jobs..
      Wonder what would have happened to those Parents who can’t even pay the current fees for their kids…

      • 0
        0

        I suspect another neo-liberal scheme behind this.

    • 4
      1

      Agreed. The letter shows disagreement and not ‘ridiculing’ as the CT writer has suggested.

      CT please revise the article as it puts the individual concerned at risk for contempt of court.

      CT please invest in better quality writers who do not exaggerate and sensationalizw in this manner putting livelihoods at risk.

    • 6
      0

      Stad, Your English is Queen’s! Your future is guaranteed.
      .
      Whoever you are, 1) Give your Full Name, 2) Student ID, 3) The Grade you are in.

    • 3
      1

      Stad,

      Why are the neighbors protesting about the school? Clearly they are not against education.

      Why was the school placed and constructed against the regulations and illegally in the first place?

      Let Amarasiri remind you that the whole land of Native Veddah Aethho is Illegally occupied by the Paras from Bharat, and the Supreme Court of the Paras, should order all the Paras back to their Homeland, Bharat, India.

      • 1
        1

        Amarasiri, maybe they’re not against education, but they may or may not have a grudge against the school. You may not know this, but initially, this case was brought against the school claiming that it was illegally occupying land belonging to the Railway department – a claim denied and disproven by Royal Institute and Railways Department. It was only after this that the case was amended to petition against the violation of the right of movement.

        • 1
          1

          Stad ,

          “It was only after this that the case was amended to petition against the violation of the right of movement.”

          Is violation of the right of movement , a constitutional right , granted by the Constitution? If so, the school should have constructed and placed the school without violating the the right of movement . Is it true that the residents cannot move or 30 min to 1 hour during the school starting and closing? If so, drop the students 1 kn away, and make the students walk, They will certainly get exercise and will nor get diabetes. 16% of Sri Lankans are diabetic, and 33% are pre-diabetic.

  • 9
    0

    Interesting!
    Bad investigation on the side of CT? Or fake alumni activity invented by RI?

  • 7
    0

    G T Bandara and this bald headed moron should be held in contempt of court and be imprisoned forthwith. The ruling of the Supreme Court consisting of three judges of this land’s highest court is supreme and stays.

    It is time that law and order is enforced.

  • 6
    0

    Kamal!
    This is not a war without witness.

  • 6
    0

    If they protest against the order it will amount to contempt and they will get punished!

    How can chairman claim it is lawful. Why didn’t he give that evidence to court then?

  • 12
    0

    Dear Stad, I am a parent and let me explain to you. Kamal wanted the parents to gather in their numbers because there would be a bigger voice. He did personally call parents regarding this. You may not know that. A group of around ten parents under Kamal’s instructions are carrying out this campaign for him. There was a long whatsapp message also going around in the groups sent by one of them. As a student you should learn at a young age that it important to respect the law of the country. It is sad as to what the supreme court ruling was. But this entire problem was created by Chairman Bandara himself. Now it is affecting you, me and all of us. We have to find another solution and not show dissent against a supreme court ruling. Also Chairman Bandara should have never written anything in that letter against the Supreme Court ruling. He himself can get into bigger trouble for that. You are a student, so learn to identify what is right before you write anything. Don’t write and post things because you get emotional. We are all emotional. What is wrong is wrong. Chairman Bandara himself has set a bad example to all students by writing such a letter stating that the supreme court ruling was incorrect. He in fact has put all 2000 kids and more so us parents in a much bigger fix. He is solely responsible for this mess.

  • 1
    6

    Dear Keerthi, I write this bearing in my mind that you’re an adult who is much more experienced in life than I am, and I do not intend to offend you. The Supreme Court ruling is indeed sad and there is nothing we can do about it by protesting as that would be considered contempt of court. I’m unaware of Mr. Kamal contacting parents personally therefore I cannot confirm nor deny that. However, the WhatsApp group and message being circulated is not the work of any parent but of a former student who is not affiliated with the Royal Institute Management and whose identity I can vouch for. If you do have the message, you would know that it states that the group fully respects the decision of the Supreme Court as the apex court of Sri Lanka and the meeting is to discuss the legal avenues the students could purse in regards to their right of education and not against the Supreme Court decision.

    • 2
      1

      Stad,

      You have the freedom and right to an education. You can go to a government school. Some are good and some not so good.

      Your right to an education does not supersede the rights of others, in this case the neighbors. Your right to an education does not mean that you can disregard the regulations and laws that are enacted to maintain and function as an orderly law abiding society.

      • 1
        0

        Amarasiri, you’re right. My right to education does not supersede the right of others but that’s not the point here, we’re simply discussing our legal options. I do not believe I require special treatment but just to state a fact according to article 3 of the Child Rights Convention, which is legally binding on Sri Lanka, requires that all private and government entities including courts of law must put the interests of children first whenever they take any action. I’m only trying to explain, not challenge the Supreme Court. Actually, your argument that the rights of a person cannot supersede law is fundamentally flawed as the purpose of recognising rights in the constitution is to prevent the government from violating our rights – in this case, the right to not be punished by retrospective legislation and our right to education which should have been considered by the UDA when they enacted laws prohibiting educational institutes from Mixed Developed Zones in 2008 while not considering the already existing institutes that would be affected by it. Once again, I’m in no way challenging the decision of the Supreme Court but simply trying to explain this to you.

    • 2
      1

      Stad
      Dragging Kamal Gunaratne to the issue is personal. If he was not a military officer who was instrumental in perishing terrorists, his name will never be mentioned here. 99% CT commenters are against Sri Lanka military.
      This case should be asked to revisit.

    • 2
      1

      Stad can be an imposter in student’s clothing. Time to identify yourself chap. , or else just go and join the picket line singing Hell of a loofah or Helleluya .
      You are going to lose confidence by joining with the RI Mafia heads. I’m sure you’re not a student or Else you’re a child connected to the School Mafia.

      • 0
        0

        Analyst, that is indeed a possibility. I could be an imposter among many other things. However, I’m not obliged to reveal my identity to strangers on the internet. I’ve been at RI for nearly 13 years and this will be my final, but I’ve never come across “mafia heads”

        Surely, parents of 2000 kids, including mine wouldn’t have placed their trust in this school if it were a mafia?

  • 3
    0

    If what is in first paragraph is not an exaggeration, then Retired Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, the Administration Director of Royal Institute has learned a lesson!
    Copious use of force and bullets may achieve results but there are more civilized ways of getting there.

  • 5
    1

    Dear Stad, You seem to be a very nice kid and I like the way you communicate and get your message across. However son (if I may call you) there are several versions as to what is been stated regarding this meeting. We may be talking of two different meetings, as I was asked to come on Monday the 8th at 6pm by the assistant Principal. Yes, I too get whatsapp messages and the one you are referring to has no name or who is the source who sent it. But one para in that message is quite disturbing. It reads ” To this end a meeting is to take place tomorrow at 3pm with parents, alumni and well wishers to discuss the necessity of drumming up public support and explore avenues that we may take to convince the relevant authorities to revisit the issue and prevent its full implementation or at the very least to come to some sort of mutual consensus on what must be done”. The Supreme Court has already given an order for the building to be demolished by the UDA and Sri Jayawardenapura Municipal Council. The business license cancellation to run an International School there is because the license Chairman Bandara has is to conduct only Computer and English classes and not run an International School at this venue. How he did it illegally for so long is a wonder. My opinion is that these type of meetings will only backfire on us as these matters have to be handled directly by the school authorities.

    • 0
      0

      Thanks, Keerthi. And yes, you may call me that. It is possible that we may be talking about two different meetings as I already did attend one this evening. It was organised by the alumni but the management was also present. They affirmed that as law-abiding citizens, they would respect the decision of the Supreme Court, but will seek a legal remedy through the Supreme Court. They also did speak of convincing the UDA to reconsider the zoning regulations and I believe this is what the WhatsApp message meant by drumming public support. Obviously, that is not contempt of court.

      One more thing I would like to add is that Kamal Gunaratne was not present at the meeting and when a concerned parent questioned the management regarding recent statements Mr Gunaratne had made to the media, we were told that he was no longer an employee of Royal Institute. In fact, he had tendered his resignation 3 months ago with effect from 5th of April – the end of school term. I can, therefore, confirm that there were no discussions of protesting against the Supreme Court and Kamal Gunaratne was in no way involved in this meeting.

      And yes, it appears that the school may have operated with an incorrect license.

  • 1
    1

    the school should immediately inform the parents not to use that road that is giving prblems to the residents.This should have been done long ago,but better late than never.The kids can walk from the top of the road to the school.AS one commentator said the exercise will be good for these kids.

  • 0
    0

    I am a past student of RI,my cousins and my brothers & sisters also went to the same school. Now my kids are studying in this school.
    My only request is pls dont destroy or ruin our children(2000 students) lives .I request Mr Bandara to take a solid action so that we parents,children,teachers & staff are not affected.
    Whoever is at fault at this point pls dont let this be an obstruction to our kids.
    On the last day of the school there have been a lot of small grade kids crying saying ‘the school is going to be broken-down’.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.