Colombo Telegraph

Rugby Kid Assault: Moms Gang Up Against Cruelty; Education Ministry Mum On Sadistic Behaviour

A cross section of Facebook female commentators made up mainly of mothers have unified in one voice and expressed their anguish and disgust, with reference to World Rugby Educator and St. Peter’s College coach Sanath Martis’ assault on one of his rugby student kids, which was caught on video camera recently.

The group of mothers’ one plea is that Coach Martis be punished for his actions and also be banned from coaching children in future.

A lady named Tina Edward Gunawardhana wrote “If it was my child that man will be wearing his gonads as ear rings”

The video clip containing this ugly incident soon went viral on social media and instantly had many commentators both in Sri Lanka and overseas expressing their displeasure regarding Coach Martis’ shocking assault.

Coach Sanath Martis who over the years was alleged to have massacred many of his rugby students in the name of discipline, was finally caught, red handed on tape, when the incident was recorded by a spectator who had come to witness the friendly rugby encounter played between St. Peter’s versus D.S. Senanayake at Havelock Park in January 2019.

Ross Mitchell the Consultant General Manager of Asian Rugby the Asian arm that comes under World Rugby confirmed that both Asian Rugby and World Rugby have officially communicated with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union regarding this incident.

Many are of the hope that the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) will investigate this matter thoroughly and submit their findings to Asian Rugby, so that appropriate disciplinary action could be taken by World Rugby against their appointed Educator and Trainer Sanath Martis.

However, over the years, the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) have always been at loggerheads with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union.

The SLSRFA when it suits them best go on to state that they are run independently, as they also report to the Ministry of Education.

It was only as recent as in 2014 when the SLSRFA in protest, blackened out the SLRFU logos off the Sri Lanka Under 20 players rugby jerseys during in the Rugby Asiad which was played at Race Course grounds in Colombo. The stance taken that day by officials of the SLSRFA was a direct insult to the SLRFU, indicating that they do come directly under the Ministry of Sport.

Meanwhile a prominent past pupil of S. Peter’s College speaking to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity said that this incident had also been reported to the National Child Protection Authority.

“Even if the child or parent does not officially complain and if St. Peter’s College authorities also decide to brush this incident aside, the law of the country permits us to officially complain since it is with relevance to a juvenile. Children come under the state and the state has powers to protect the children even if their parents decide to hush things up” the Peterite old boy said.

Strangely till to date the current Yahapalanaya led Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, has also continued to remain mute despite this incident hitting Sri Lanka and global audiences.

“I watched the entire video and also have been following all the comments made by several parents on social media. I condemn this sadistic behaviour” an educational expert told Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity.

A cross section of Facebook comments are found below:

Lana de Zoysa I must agree with shanze. I firmly believe that if any teacher or coach needs to use physical abuse on a child then he /she is incapable of doing his/ job ! There are a million ways to discipline children . They too have self respect and should be taught to have self respect. This will only destroy it. He should never be permitted to come anywhere near a playing field again !
Shanella Gunaratna Fiona abuse is not discipline sorry don’t agree … A month or a year is not the problem! Another player kicked by this player is proof to show that the very player who has been abused is of the mindset that abuse is ok. As the seed has been planted by this ass of a coach that practises the method “abuse is the right form of discipline”
Abuse of women, abuse of children, rape, domestic violence is all a result of this sort of abusive action.We are so ready to protect this ass of a coach saying his action of abuse was right. Then all the abuse that goes in in society should also be ignored! Is it not? Like the so called white van culture , racial abuse, religious abuse!!!! So please dont pick and choose! Abuse is abuse in which ever form or shape it is served!
C. Delani De Silva I just dont get how a person can be a coach when he dosent have the 1st discipline of self to begin with. needs to go on a diet and set an example not slap kids
Shiranti Haputantri It doesn’t matter what the player has done, there’s a way to take disciplinary action, thrashing a child is not the way to it. This kind of nonsense should not be tolerated at all. I hope this nasty man will not be hired by anyone until he get his act together.
Aruni Mahipala Do you know what the coach ( an adult) did to the boy? Taught a lesson? Do you think he learnt anything being humiliated like that?
Cheryl Ranasinghe It is unbelievable how people miscontstrue actions for discipline as abuse
Christina De Zoysa That is a monster and he’s not even trying to hide it. Shame on the parents of these children for allowing this thug to bully their kids. Teachers/coaches should not be given the right to lay a finger on other people’s kids. That right needs to be taken away from them completely! They’re not gods! They WILL end up taking out their frustrations on our kids, it’s going to happen when you give them that authority.
Ayanthi Gunasekera How ever good the coach is , this is unacceptable.- what is the message he is giving his students?
Lilamani Goonewardene Ayanthi Gunasekera correct. Violence is often learnt in schools and must be stopped
Ayanthi Gunasekera Lilamani Goonewardene , one of our friends grand son, was selected in to a rugged team. Only 11 years . Apparently some boys who could not, make the cut broke his leg! Imagine how angry these little kids have to be.
Sujeewa Suriyaaratchie Looks to me Principle and the School Sports authorities are mum over the bullying and smacking of the Kid and violating the Fundamental Rights of the Kid and try to sweep it under the carpet in the name of Rugby.A disgrace to school sports officials and for the sports. Do not let these thugs continue as coaches in school sports.
Sandra Obeyesekera Is this how they make a boy tough? Oh dear what outcome! No wonder! St Peters! I personally kno a student who busted his eardrum by a teacher and another who was assaulted when the boy was 6 or 7 by a maths master waaaaaaay back and the parents kept mum f fear of repraisal! Violence oh violence how it thrives! No wonder they condone this behaviour..the Victorian tradition of using violence to toughen boys goes decades back! People r still in the dark ages! Physical violence is mostly used in boys schools to control boys and emotional abuse occurs in girls control girls…seen it witnessed it myself over the years…..Sad as. …there r many respectful ways to toughen a child in the 21st century! Believe me!
Anushka Gunathunga Sick fuck
Nisha Edirisuriya No matter how amazing he is as a coach, you cannot justify abuse
Melanie Jayasinghe How dare he does this,such a bully. Pls sack him at once he should not be tolerated!
Shiranti Haputantri Is this the spirit of sports coming from an coach or master whoever…I guess the parents and the young boy will tolerate to keep his place in the team, they work hard and sacrifice their studies to so much get into these teams, isn’t it? Just watching the clip has anger me so much, hope someone will have the backbone to get this man out for good. Such arrogance shouldn’t be tolerated at all
Shiranti Haputantri Thameez Nazeer pathetic how you accept this nonsense inhuman behavior. If it was in another country this bully would have been taken away in no time…
Tina Edward Gunawardhana If it was my child that Man will be wearing his gonads as earings
Rachel Richards Whoever posted this please indicate the school and if possible the name of the coach. He should be banned from coaching for life. Humiliating and hitting a student will not get him anywhere.
Champa Fernando Action please. Throw the manic coach out and prosecute.
Carol Wijeyekoon Mauffer Usoof yes it cud have happened, either purposely or accidentally. But this is no way, specially, coach shud handle this situation…it’s really de-grading himself…his low breed.
Shelagh Paul St Peters? wow.. ! worse things must have happened in the days without Social Media.. wonder why he slapped him…? rough play happen in the scrum.. ! yes he should not have slapped him… .
Crizzp Papii L Davnel Davy I recon….. Coach is not getting any sex … When he’s home maybe his woman dominants him…. N takes the frustration on kids…..
Carol Wijeyekoon Aman Ameer parent doesn’t know. Now it has gone viral n should be published in the papers & social media too…where are they? All silent.
Tashiya Captain Absolutely correct Imran Saibo. Just because it happened to you or still happens … does not MAKE IT RIGHT. No one has the right to hit ANYONE. This is exactly the type of behaviour [and some justifying] it that leads to abuse of spouse, children etc.
Yamuna Elivitigala Not enough should hang
Jasmin Fernando There are so many like him out there. This man should be sacked and be charged for child abuse.
Tashiya Captain DISGRACE. In this day and age. He should be banned from coaching. Times have changed .. there are other more acceptable methods of discipline and getting results. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Just because it happened to you 20 years ago does NOT MAKE IT NORMAL OR RIGHT.

Carol Wijeyekoon This SOB Shud be immediately reported with this footage to the Police, Principal of School n Ministry +++ Minister of sports:- Are u sleeping.??? Have a look, what OUR children are going thru….!!! Come on…

Rimzie Ismail He should be jailed
Avanthi Gunasekera Fernando Pls take action against this coach, he should be banned from handling children.
Nadeera Nanayakkara Copied from psychologytoday – A large meta-analysis of studies on the effects of punishment found that the more physical punishment children receive, the more defiant they are toward parents and authorities, the poorer their relationships with parents, the more likely they are to report hitting a dating partner or spouse. They are also more likely to suffer mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems, and less likely to empathize with others or internalize norms of moral behavior.
Priyanthi Silva Shameful. To assault a boy in public. If he had to be corrected for something, he should have been called aside and scolded in private not publicly assaulted. Whoever that person is he is a bully. should be sacked immediately. Thank you for publicizing these incidents. At least then maybe this sort of thing will stop! 
 Imran Saibo WTF  this kind of behaviour is unforgivable, condoning it simply because it was a practice is the same as saying slavery existed, so let it go on . Only a illiterate, uneducated moron would agree with this kind of action .This man whoever he is should be prosecuted by law for assault and battery , I would like to see this hero do the same to the child of a person who wields influence , bully , thug , sadist are too mild a terms to describe this piece of work

Mushtaq Mohamed What a fucking cunt!!! This guy should be stripped butt naked and beaten the shit out of in the middle of the fucking Galle face green so that all the other fucking cunts learn a lesson. This is child abuse!! This guy should be on a fucking offenders list where he should not be allowed to even ride a bicycle past a school. This bastard should be locked!!! 10 years RI!!!! I pray this fucker doesn’t seem in the street 

(By Janaka Ranaweera)

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