Colombo Telegraph

Rugby Kid Assault: St. Peter’s College ‘Okay’ – World Rugby Says ‘NO’

St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya in a shocking communique condoned the behavior of their appointed rugby coach Sanath Martis, when he was caught on video assaulting one of its own student rugby players in full public view recently.

The video which went viral on social media both in Sri Lanka and also reached global audiences, even left officials of World Rugby shell shocked, as their appointed Educator & Trainer Sanath Martis was captured violently slapping the rugby kid on three occasions.

Sanath Martis

The communique sent by St.Peter’s College to its Old Boys Union read “The college has in consultation with various stakeholders of the college gone into the matter. This relates to an incident which is over a month old and brought up a day ago. Appropriate action has been taken and in the interests of all persons involved we have nothing further to add”.

However what the communique failed to elaborate on was what the “appropriate action” the school really took against the child assaulter, coach Martis, as they continue to expose the safety of their rugby kids.

World Rugby the governing body for the sport of rugby union, has confirmed that they do not condone their appointed Educator and Trainer Sanath Martis’ abuse of the student rugby kid, that has now brought disgrace to their sport.

Ross Mitchell the Consultant General Manager of Asian Rugby the Asian arm that comes under World Rugby confirmed that the matter is been handled by World Rugby at present.

With strong sentiments being mentioned on social media by several cross sections of the public, it is strange that the main stream media has not covered this incident.

What is further shocking is that even the Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam also continues to remain mute regarding this incident as the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association also comes under his Ministry.

When Colombo Telegraph contacted Susantha Mendis , the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association he said “Well we saw the video and we discussed the matter. However we are yet to get an official complaint regarding this incident “.

With the hierarchy of St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya choosing to side step this all important incident, it also continues to expose its very own children, based on the evidence of this video footage.

One wonders what the late and respected Peterite coach Archibald Perera would have had to say about this incident?

Whilst the late coach Archibald Perera’s acronym for “rugger” (rugby, ugly, double guts (gg),entertainment and recreation) still rings in the ears of many a former Peterite ruggerite he coached, parents of current day rugby players are skeptical if their kids may come home with ruptured ear drums, thanks to the lessons learnt from their current coach and World Rugby Educator & Trainer Sanath Martis.

Meanwhile whilst many prominent Peterite stalwarts and ex-Peterite rugby players continued to remain mum about this incident, several Facebook commentators expressing their displeasure about coach Sanath Martis’ assault on the rugby kid had this to say:

Ryan Jayatunga: “I would like to see the Principal of the school concerned hold general assembly for the entire school, invite the boy concerned and his parents on to the stage and have this maniac coach (If you can call him ‘coach’) KNEEL BEFORE THE BOY AND HIS PARENTS AND BEG THEIR FORGIVENESS. If he refuses, police action must be initiated against him with a compulsory penalty of a minimum 06 month RI at Bogambara or Boossa.”

Erandanath Amal Perusinghe: “He should be locked up period. Wonder why the school is covering up. Imagine what the parents must be feeling.”

Christina Francké; “I know the whole story. It’s been repeated to me many times.

“If the basis is the kid kicked someone so the coach slapped him…why? The coach used physical strength to hit someone..to teach them not to use physical advantage to kick someone.. so where is the lesson there?

“Take the kid off the team. If it’s a massive offence (which it is) let him miss a few matches. But they don’t do that do they, because that particular coaches motto is “win at all costs”.

“We have seen enough of his behaviour on and off the field. This is not the first time either. He has the backing of million rupee corporate sponsors and schools OBAs and parents cos he brings the cup home. He did that for your school as well. This great that he can coach a team to win. But at what cost?

“This post is not just about that incident. Its about the amount of physical abuse that takes place in school…grade 6 kids with burst ear drums and nerve damage due to slaps and blows to the head. Did you know these things happen at RC? Would you like to speak to the relevant mums? They are terrified to report these incidents because of the reprisals and also cos it’s hard to get a slot in a ‘good school’. So standing up for your rights comes at a price.

“The authorities cant do much because of the “oh that’s the way you discipline boys..it’s been done at this school for the past 160 years..etc. It’s sickening.” (By Janaka Ranaweera)

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