18 June, 2019

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The First Child Abuser Of Sri Lanka

By Grusha Andrews

My father gave me the one and only ‘tokka’ of my life when I was twelve. It was semi hard and unpracticed- a bad ‘tokka’ by any definition. It was the first time I have seen him raise his hand to anyone. As I jerked my head in utter surprise he almost missed his aim. That shape shifting in that split second broke an unspoken pact. He never referred to it and neither have I. Today I can tell, with my hand on my heart that he never raised his hand to me again. Neither has any other man, woman or teacher raised their hand to me. And I can also say, with the same hand on that same heart that I have never, ever, hit my children. When they came from my body to this world, we entered in to an unspoken covenant. If I hit my child, small, vulnerable, trusting, and innocent, I will be breaking it. 

So my questions to you are: were you ever beaten up as a child-with hands, feet, canes, belts, spoons, barks, rods etc.? Have you beaten up your children or students? The man who beat you up, did he beat his woman? The woman who beat you up – was she beaten by her man? 

Can you place your hand on your heart and say that you were neither abused, nor are you an abuser? 

Trivialized Scourge

The First Citizen of our country Maithripala Sirisena self-elevated himself to the position of First Child Abuser of the nation in his latest round of mini-political hara-kiri recently. At a public gathering he proudly proclaimed that he is what he is today because of the beatings he received, further elaborating that “he can still feel the sting”. He continued his self-immolation, mocking the anti-corporal punishment movement in Sri Lanka calling it an “NGO that burns canes”.

Child abuse is Sri Lanka is perhaps its ugliest can of worms, too complicated to open, too disgusting to process. It ranges from culturally sanctioned corporal punishment to religiously sanctioned sexual abuse of children within the closed doors of temples, churches, kovils, mosques and ‘madrasas’. It’s sickeningly panoramic story extends from child marriages, psychological abuse, neglect, physical torture to incest and teenage pregnancy. Corporal punishment remains the most culturally accepted, politically sanctioned, anecdotally trivialized and jocularized scourge of our nation. 

Many pathetic adults who have ‘never really left school’ living well in to the adulthood of their 50s nostalgically recall and romanticize the corporal punishment they received at school. They trivialize the pain, terror and the suffering and moronically proclaim that “we are what we are today because our teachers beat us up to bring us to the correct path”.

The First Child Abuser Of Our Nation

The first person that came to my mind when I thought about this issue was Vidyajothi Prof Harendra De Silva, renowned paediatrician and probably the most pivotal professional in the anti-child abuse discourse of Sri Lanka. He is perhaps the biggest unsung hero of how far we have come in this sphere against the tide of tradition and culture that deviates from every charter of human rights and child rights; every norm of human decency; every word of compassion and love preached in all religions. 

The second person who came to my mind is also a doctor, although a minion compared to Prof. De Silva. She is Dr Tush Wickramanayaka, noted anti-corporal punishment activist, a new entrant to the arena. Wickranmanayaka, the daughter of a former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka intrigues me with her indomitability. She fights hard every day to get justice for her children who have been direct and indirect victims of corporal punishment at a reputed international school. Her fight has metamorphosed in to a fight for all children, and, in the open society of the internet she gets a lot of visibility. Her apparent privilege pales in the networked and potent backdrop of politically, culturally and traditionally sanctioned culture of corporal punishment. 

I contacted Wickramanayaka through Colombo Telegraph and asked her for her views about the First Citizen turned First Child Abuser of our republic. She said: “when the Head of State who deliberately violates the constitution just five months ago, gears up to dirty politics by playing into the gallery of voting teachers and ignores the rights of his young non-voting citizens, we can be assured of two things. Either he is suffering from amnesia or he is suffering from mental illness. Either way, being subjected to severe corporal punishment as a child, his pain still raw after all these years, highlights the following negative text book characteristics of a victim of physical abuse:  short term memory loss, pathological lying delusions of grandeur, inter-generational transformation of violence, lack of respect to common law, bullying and intimidation and finally, the victim becomes the aggressor. In his case this is a President who wishes to introduce capital punishment to his citizens”.

The First Joker Our Nation

Apparent by the damning election results of the local government elections of 2018, Sirisena must be hated by the corporal punishment glorifiers as well as its opponents with equal zeal. The fun fact is that corporal punishment glorifiers probably don’t realize that Sirisena’s despicable qualities as a President, citizen and a man can be strongly attributed to his history of being a victim of corporal punishment. 

Following the imbecilic comment of the President, sarcastic posts in social media ran amok, throwing Sirisena’s words back at him. Overnight he became the poster boy for “the best reason for shunning corporal punishment” because “it gives rise to losers like Sirisena”. However, the mirth apart, Sirisena’s ignorance on basic human rights and child rights is concerning. 

No Vote- No protection

A man of Sirisena’s limited intellectual capacity probably cannot fathom the scientific basis for shunning corporal punishment. Shameless men such as he, only see how many votes are at stake. In an interview with the BBC, Prof Harendra De Silva stated “it is the children who are beaten. Children don’t have a vote. It is the adults who beat. Adults have the vote”.

Prof. De Silva’s damning words summarize the pitiless despicability of our political leaders who are only able to see issues if it would bag them a few votes. The JVP too is also not free from blame. In the recent incident of a teacher sentenced to two years of imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to a student, the JVP shamelessly led the pro-corporal punishment movement of the uneducable teachers unions who took to the streets. 

History Of Corporal Punishment In Sri Lanka

As with many other procedures, the British who formalized corporal punishment in schools laid down specific guidelines for this at the time it was a legally and culturally accepted method of discipline. Speaking to several “old school” retired school principals well in their 80s I found out that the following guidelines that were in place in Sri Lanka when corporal punishment was practiced legally:

1. Caning was the method of delivery of corporal punishment.

2. Hitting with hands, feet, belts, barks, rods etc. was not a legal methods of corporal punishment. This ensured the standardization of the instrument and force used in punishment. 

3. Caning would be done by a teacher in front of the school principal or an authority higher than the caner. Alternatively the principal may be the caner. This ensured that the caning did not escalate in to further physical abuse. 

4. A log entry would be made with name of student, date, offense, caner and number of strikes delivered. This ensured a reference point to the caning if complications arose.  

5. No female student would caned by a male caner. A female teacher or appointee would cane a female student in front of the principal or due authority. This prevented disproportionate force applied on a female by a male who was physically stronger. It also probably discouraged the notion of “’men hitting women”. 

6. The palm was the only anatomical part that could be caned. Buttocks, thighs, head, upper or lower body were not legal anatomical parts that could be caned.

7. The student should stand at an arms distance from the caner and stretch the hand forward offering the palm to be caned.

8. The caner would hold the cane with the hand and the caner’s arm would be parallel to the ground at all times. This controlled the force of the strike. 

9. The caning will be done by striking the palm of the student without raising the arm at the shoulder or the elbow. Only the flexing of the wrist and striking with the strength of the caner’s wrist was allowed. This also controlled the strength of the strike minimizing physical harm. 

10. A student would not be caned in a manner causing bruising, wounding or further physical injury. 

Elaborating the historical guidelines for caning above is by no means a justification of the corporal punishment even in a controlled form. What I wish to highlight is that even historically, the concept of corporal punishment was not a method of discipline introduced to vent the psychological, social, personal and sexual frustrations of the teachers or parents on a defenseless child. 

Even in the era where this was an acceptable mode of punishment, it was premeditated in delivery. Caning was preceded by taking the student to the principal’s room, discussing the offense, making the student realize/accept his wrong doing and delivering a minimum force punishment under supervision. Perhaps the shame and the entire process of being “taken to the principal’s office” was a bigger punishment to the student than the caning per se. 

The Unfinished Journey Of Corporal Punishment Free Sri Lanka 

In this book “Child Abuse A Global View – Sri Lanka”, Prof Harendra de Silva writes: “the Education Ordinance of 1939 of Ceylon (Regulations for the Instruction and Guidance of Teachers in Government Schools, 1939) is still in effect and permits caning a child, even though Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which requires signatories to the convention “to take all measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the provisions of the Convention” (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, Article 28 [2 ]). Although the 1939 Education Ordinance allows a principal to give a child a maximum of four “cuts,” this limitation is rarely observed in practice. Further, doctors often do not consider a child’s injuries caused by parents or teachers to be child abuse”

How President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Dr Tara De Mel, primarily inspired by the work of Prof Harendra De Silva initiated a historical journey of changing the above mentioned state to make Sri Lanka corporal punishment free remains largely unknown. In Part 2 of this articles this journey and perspectives of the same will be elaborated. 

Different Strokes Of Different Folks

Whatever the shortcomings of President Kumaratunga were, she had the liberalism to view children and their rights from a just perspective. Whatever her bungling failures as a politician were, she was and is a superb mother who raised two awesome children. Throughout their troubled childhood, Yoshodhara and Vimukthi Kumaratunga faced harrowing violence against their parents. However, they remained humble, respectable, decent, were never implicated in a single infamous incident that compromised the stature of their mother’s office. This is probably due to the humane, non-violent and sentient parenting by Kumaratunga as a mother. She had a streak of humanity in her, not tainted by ugly politics that strived to provide equally decent, corporal punishment free environment for our children. 

In his backdrop we can reflect on the ridiculousness of an imbecilic President who in his vote hunger is advocating the abuse of our children as the First Child Abuser of Sri Lanka, undoing our efforts at human decency for quarter of a century. While he reigns as a First Child Abuser of the nation, three of his grandchildren are sitting pretty in government schools. Like all innocent children, they too may be up to mischief. Which teacher is raising their hand to beat up this corporal punishment advocating President’s grand children? 

This is the question.

When we raise our hand to hit a child, what are we raising it against? A wrong that can very well be settled with counselling, discipline, love and attention or are we raising our hand to the powerlessness, vulnerability and social disadvantage of the child? 

Part 2 to be continued….

References:

Child Abuse A Global View – Sri Lanka, D.G.Harendra de Silva.  – Eds. Swhartz-Kenny, Mc Caulley & Epstein. Greenwood Press, Westport, USA. ISBN 0-313-30745-8

Acknowledgement 

Grusha Andrews offers her profound thanks Prof. Vidyajothy Harendra De Silva for his contribution to Part 1 and Part 2 of this article. 

Special thanks to Dr Thush Wickramanayaka for her quote and to Colombo Telegraph for the liaison. 

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Latest comments

  • 13
    0

    The President has also reportedly, in his salad days,set fire to his fathers Paddy-Field!
    Next he may experiment to set Fire to H2O.
    Sirisena a man like no other!

    • 10
      0

      Hey Guys, I got the point, that President SIRISENA believes that beatings should have guided him to become what he is today ?

      – had not there been beatings on him, he would not have become what he is today. I am afraid, had his father beaten him enough.. he could avoid this man entering to lanken politics…. or not ?

      Instantly, I heard this, what came to my mind was, the beater should not have done the job well. Meaning, had he performed it well, how on the earth SIRISENA’s performance could become this SILLIEST; each time while listening to him make me very upset. He behaves yet today, as if he has fully forgotten, for what we the 6.2 mio of voters elected him in JAN 2015. The very same man, makes ludicrous statements one behind the other, as if he lost his conscience.?
      :
      This guy OUR SO CALLED President has the temerity to ABUSE CID officers in terms of FAKE assasination which was the seed to have created that 26-Oct-2018 constitutional coup, architected by President himself. Where on earth, we found the kind of leaders to have BETRAYED the nation to the manner he did. He is the most shameless politician I have ever seen in my life. ( I am in my early 50ties).

      • 5
        7

        Grusha calm down, get a grip.
        You seem to be suffering from some anxiety disorder, hysterical is the word that comes to mind and exaggerating in extremis and generally getting carried away on your own rhetoric and character assassinations..
        After all there are different opinions and cultural practices and a whole range of discplining techniques of and for difficult children.
        Spare the rod and spoil the child is an old expression that may have some merit in some few limited cases.
        This does not mean that all kids should be caned willy nilly!

        • 9
          0

          Sirisena was only a means to an end.

          He was only a means to dispose of the Rajapakses …………… perhaps only temporarily.

          It’s our folly to expect anything more of him ……… or give him greater meaning he is ever incapable of having/delivering ………… we Lankans should know ourselves first!

          It’s nonsensical to use political-science, philosophy, social-theory, …………. or whatever one’s field of study/expertise ………. to analyse a pure simpleton ……….. to kingdom come

          Let’s keep things simple ……….. and on the ground.

        • 3
          5

          Dear Sir/ Madam,
          Thank you for sharing the purported psychiatric disorder you have diagnosed in me for having written this article.
          May I point out to you that beating up a child is against the current law of the country and is a violation of our constitution and human rights and child rights charters?
          Slavery was also once lawful. Once a practice is outlawed it becomes illegal.
          Thank you
          Sincerely
          Grusha Andrews

        • 2
          0

          Dear nimal and Grusha,
          .
          You are both people whom I respect a good deal. I hope that this does not develop into a nasty spat between the two of you. Or, Grusha, were you really answering Dodo more than nimal? A bit too legalistic in any case, I thought, Grusha.
          .
          Even in my case, I had been getting a bit too ‘ad hominem’ in a comment which appears below this. That I posted earlier this morning. I don’t think that I should follow that up.
          .
          Sirisena is a lame duck, why go after him? What we need to do is to make sure that the Rajapaksas don’t get back in the saddle. Is Ranil any better? Each of us seems to have his own personal obsession; mine, perhaps, is asking that the eventual winner be taught a lesson by forcing a count of Second and Third Preferences. I don’t think that you will disagree with this strategy of mine, but I’m finding it very difficult to get people to even listen to this bit of common sense.
          .
          Grusha, I hope that you will focus on the need for us to find some way of replacing our present leaders with some who are more acceptable to us. Child Rights and such things are, without doubt important in themselves, but surely, little can be done in this area until we get ourselves proper leaders.
          .
          In the 1950s the Marxists were given to squabbling over secondary issues. Let us not follow suit.
          .
          If we do, we will lose the plot.

          • 4
            0

            SM,

            Garusha was replying to Dodo who had accused him of “suffering from some anxiety disorder”

            I do not accuse others of “mental disorders” ……. cause I’m not too sure of myself! :)) ………. We are all a little mad in our own ways ……….. after all we are Lankans!

            It just came under mine because his post to Dodo was posted after mine.

            I have no quarrel with Garusha and appreciate his efforts …….. and would only encourage him to write more and not be put off by adverse comments.

            It’s encouraging to find the calibre of writers like Garusha and many others in Lanka ………..

            • 0
              0

              Yes, we are all a bit mad. Every person who writes with a feminine name we all assume is a man.
              .
              But hasn’t Grusha said that she has borne children? So, she must be woman – although we are at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
              .
              I’m glad that we all appreciate Grusha’s efforts.
              .
              By the way, there were those relatives that you uncovered for me.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/khemas-boy-does-it-comes-up-with-a-non-election-budget-in-an-election-year/
              .
              I said there that I’d written to the author, Aaron Patrick; he replied saying that he’s passed it all on to Shenara’s uncle, another Nimal who keeps the family records.

    • 6
      1

      Hey my friends,
      .
      Are you ready I am on my way to Presidential secretariat..I am well equipped with POLPITHI… and CANEs if needed, i can use them to wake him up… … . we should beat him again in order to wake him up and ask him at least to fullfill his election pledges.
      :
      As we are all aware, he is the president elected and does not let AUTHORITIES to continue with the proper investigations regarding the various allegations levelled /filed against Rajapakshe BPs.

      Thadjudeen murder is caught red handed to have been an act of RAJAAKSHE. But BP Sirisena is standing upside down – though wearing his USUAL sarong, Weonly watch his hidden places, but obviously he does not.

      Recommendations issued by PC on 34 high profile CASES (COPE recommendations carried out by special commission) is kept away from people, irrespect of repeated number of requests made on this…. since his SIAMES twin Rajakshe are caught once they are exposed.
      :
      PM Wikramasinghe is no means wrong, but he is caught by bank BOND scam, he naively maanged by appointing one of his men. However President himself reiterated, the losses made by them since 2008 are 99% more than what SIRISENA-Ranil GOVT has to be accoutable for. Nevertheless.. SIRISENA sponsored SIRASA has misled the nation and we also faced COUP saga in last October 2018. Latter alone brought some more to the list of HUGE losses, claiming to be 770 billions as the cost of that coup.

      .

    • 5
      0

      That means, he should have been a pain also during his schooling. All these reveals that this guys is a born idiot to have been beaten that much by own teachers.
      :
      This reveals everything also about his childhood. I completed my schooling in SL, but I had never been subjected to physical punishments by teachers. We had a SCIENCE teacher who was for some reasons seen as a psychopath. Meaning even without any proper reasons, he had been termpered by his mood. May well be, he should have gone through some family problems within his family. He walked up to the school on foot, and seen to be a loner. The kind of teachers behaves like mad dogs except that I dont have any examples of the teachers that caned their students. Of coruse the langague they used whenever they got angry towards the students sounded to abusive. Like for example, if some student failed to do their homework, there had been one female teacher ” went on saying, umbalata wahi naethi hena gahanna oona”. Looking back, I feel, the kind of teachers, should nt allow to continue as teachers or should well be subjected to proper trainings. Most of them are no comparable to their counterparts in Europe. European teachers sacrifice their preparations as the univesity lectuerers would do. They are the most vulnerable among the professions, that are easily caught by HEALTH problems (some end up in stress related health problems).

    • 2
      0

      Grusha,
      .
      I think President does not SEEM to know not even a handful of people in the country praises him today.
      :
      How dare he say that beatings of his father guided him to be ” what he is today” ?.
      .
      Whole lot of lankens would say, my god, ” do you really think that you achieved a lot in your life – you only betrayed us the VOTERs by now”.
      .
      Prez Sirisena is the ONLY President who has NOT the slightest of CONSCIENCE to see what PEOPLE really think about him, by today.

      Almost every listener to this LUDICRIOUS statements would LAUGH at him on and on. He does not know what he has been talking about.

    • 0
      0

      Grusha Andrews@
      :
      I think it is just simple, president should LET ALONE today go to a mirror and check himself, to see who he is. If he would see a man, standing before him a MOST ABUSIVE, UNETHICAL MONSTER, he is curable if not, he should immediately seek for therapies, otherwise, the nation would loose only their VALUBALE TIME given to a man to guide them to the progress.
      . Not by appearence, but standing before the mirror, the flow of thoughts about you yourself,could reveal your reality, if you are sane only… That can then guide you to improve where you went wrong…. this is for people with sanity only… however, the ones clouded with own OVERESTIMATIONs would not see it right.This is the basic human psychology. You need to read first about your PERSON, that unfortunately lacks in the mind set of OUR FIRST CITIZEN, yet today. As it is the case with a planed bieng piloted by a mad man, an insane president cant guide the country to any good directions. That is unfortunatlly we are fated today.
      :
      When people have no other choice, but to go for it, was the case WITH THE NOMINATION of Pallawathe Gamaralage Sirisena in Nov 2014, in an brutal episode of lanken politics, with Rajakshes brothers becoming POWER intoxicated and did almost what Sadam Hussaine, Gadfi or the like minded dictators of the brutal world. –

  • 3
    0

    Well! if anybody were to say that MY3 is in support of the dictum “Spare the rod and spoil the child” quoting his own experience of being at the receiving end of the cane and label him as a number one child abuser, then what about Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore? It is the same story. Lee writes to say that he got three of “his best” unto his bottom with the trousers on by the fair minded British Headmaster for getting late for more than three times for the term in attending school. That country not only has official guidelines regarding school boy caning (girls spared of that) but has a regime of judicial caning for certain offences for people (not women) less than 50 years. It is rumoured that pieces of skin and flesh fly out during such a session of judicial caning. The political fun making of persons apart, the real question is what substitute regime must take instead of the rod to discipline children? The author quotes the example of the children of the former President Kumaratunga. If so her methods of bringing up children can be discussed at a workshop, along with many others. Recently a case of a Rugger coach slapping a child was given much publicity perhaps he was believing in the modified dictum “Spare the slap and spoil the novice”. Even coaches of International repute too could be invited to such a workshop to discuss ways and means of effective coaching and how the recalcitrant are effectively dealt with. This is the 21st century and we must adopt effective methods to suit our times. If we don’t publicize effective methods, barbarism will continue and it will have continued support.

  • 11
    0

    Please do not waste time in writing about this president. He was fortunate enough to become president with UNP votes, he was unfortunate enough to make a political coup in Sri Lanka, hence he lost his reputation.. So, no one will vote for him at all, if he and AKD compete, AKD will win, If he and Ranil compete Ranil will win, If he and Gota complete Gota will win, so he is counting his dates. why should we waste our time. His political life is now all gone history.

    • 6
      0

      CRITICAL THINKING@Exact. You are spot on. Every word you added is correct about him.
      :
      But he feels, just becoming a President but doing nothing or done nothing as promised is still valid andexemplary….. alone taking him as an example is a joke to my eye. He is the most abusive man to be the president of entire ASIA.
      :
      And the most abusive man hin asian democracy to betray the voters all at once just because his greediness to an extension.

  • 1
    5

    Grusha Andrews

    You’re bit silly @ this time to write about presidents attitude towards corporal punishment.

    It’s correct that it’s a crime against youngsters but unfortunately there’re aggressive youngsters whose aggression might be a threat to his fellow youngsters.

    (It’s known that due to inherited qualities & environment made aggression in some children).

    In such a situation all of us become helpless & compelled to use some sort of pressure upon such juveniles.
    Me too dead against it but sad to say I’ve chidden many but with a good intention to correct or contain such for the time being.
    Please let me ask you, haven’t you ever chidden a youngster/been compelled to do that in your lifetime.

    You’ve gone too far to belittle the president.

    No one is perfect in this world.

    • 2
      0

      Real Revolutionist
      Dear Sir/Madam,
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      To answer your question, yes, many times when I was overwhelmed, pressurized, running against a deadline and my children were making utter mischief, yes I have felt like hitting them.
      But I haven’t.
      In my opinion ,there are no ‘good intentions’ behind hitting a child. We are venting our own frustration and lack of time to discipline them.
      As I have mentioned, if this is such a lovely practice as the President says, can president’s grandchildren be hit at Visakha Vindyalaya? Will any teacher beat them up and say “your grandfather the President endorsed my beating you up”?
      No. No teacher will dare do that.
      The children who were beaten up, dropped out of education system, who didn’t get the empathy are not the CT readers. Corporal punishment is primarily a hand raised against poverty, marginalization and inequality because it is such children who are the majority of victims of corporal punishment. The rural, semi rural, poor school teachers think “munta gahanne nathuwa hadanna baha”. But is the tender heart of a slum child different to my child’s? No. Their hearts are similarly innocent, trusting and vulnerable.
      I am a voice for them, more than anything else.
      Hope you agree with at least some of what I say.
      Thank you
      Sincerely
      Grusha Andrews.

      • 0
        0

        Grusha,
        .
        Any teacher or a parent who treated own children with beatings are connected with a set of psychological problems.
        :
        Most of them have no control over their own temper. I had a female teacher, who looked as if she is eternal preganant with a belly size of a MUDALALI, but her usual behaviour was brutal. Her verbal attacks thrown on the grade 6-9 students were irrtable. She did not know how to use her words before a classroom ” umbalata waehi naethi hena gahanna ona if we failed to do some home work”: I think these were even worst than physical punishments given to students.
        :
        I have the very feeling LANKEN teachers lack of proper trainings specially about CHILD psychology. The levels of knowledge in high school teachers are very low. So long they themsevles would not notice it, not an inch of change would be the case towards the progress in school edcuation.
        :
        Today home schooling has become a tool to some parents in EU countries, if their own children would not be satisfied with their schools. The disipline and others they however, earn by being able to do enough sports with like minded students. Anyways, that is just for the students that would reject schooling for their own reasons. :
        .
        I had a science teacher who was seen as a loner, was very cruel. He never allowed the students to think about the questions, but went to canning if found homework was not done. Why cant a teacher have a small chat with the kind of students for not having done the home work as he expected. TEACHER-STUDENT bond should grow so that the students can get close them and be able to learn more from them. That is what being applied in western countries. Finnland and Australia, they the teachers are like friends to the students.

      • 1
        0

        Grusha Andrews

        As both of us are against corporal punishment there’s no reason to engage in arguments over slight differences.

        There’s a gap between ill-treatment & corporal punishment & your idea that “corporal punishment is primarily a hand raised against poverty” is unacceptable.

        Please read this true story,

        Some time back (in late 60s) a teacher beat a student for not doing his studies well & the child happened to from a poor backward family of the village.

        Later in the same day, that teacher was called to the office to receive an advice from the head teacher that “why should you make efforts to teach such children as one day we wouldn’t be able to find a man even to pick a coconut”.

        Head teacher wanted other teachers to beat & teach only the children of recognized families.

        My father had a cane to contain me & my brother & after a cane treatment he had the habit of giving extra hugging treatment for us to forget & forgive him.

        Believe me, that cane had a lifespan of 25 years until my elder sister’s son dared to break into pieces in late 80s.

        I felt very sad the cane was no more.

  • 0
    3

    Sri Lankan parents are pushing children a lot for academic performance. Sri Lankan children are so much used to social media, having fun and to narcotics, I heard, there were 59 children who scored ZERO for the A/L examination. Even Hollywood young actors/actresses ruin their lived by getting used to drugs and weird sex. So sri lankan parents should think. THIS SO CALLED ABUSE OF CHILDREN WAS COMMON in the world a few years ago, I read, some american parents as tourists bin another country, raised the gown of their girl child and spanked. This is in the FULL 100% DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES. ANY WAY THIS ARTICLE IS CRAP AS CHEAP JOURNALISM WAS USED TO SCORE POINTS, AS THE PRESIDENT, CHILD ABUSE ARE GOOD TOPICs for the SINHALA_BUDDHIST ABUSERS, BHIKKU ABUSERS in CT who PREACH about child abusing by the president. So,, you are saying parents listening to this will start abusing children. I think you are heterosexual but no children and preach your new world human rights which is CRAP. So, how their children are screwed up. You are a Frog in the well.

    • 0
      0

      My point was children should not be pushed so much to the extent they feel stressed. Parents need to know children yearn for Parents love because of that children try to do it. but academic performance is not the only thing a Child can be successful in the world.

  • 0
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    i used to hide behind the bushes in the house and throw stones at the people in the road.They used to suddenly stop look all around and that used to make me amused.I must have been less about 10.After about a month they all must have realised that it was coming from my house and a big group of people came and confronted my father.After they had left father threw me on the ground and gave me a good amount of kicks.Regardless of that i loved my father very much and in my heart i knew i deserved every kick he gave me.I still always have his photograph in my drawer and time to time i have the pleasure of looking at it and thinking of the old memories.Not the bad ones like the kicks of course.The cloutings i would have got from my masters are too numerous to be mentioned here.Sometimes i used to think whether my ear drums were gone for good.However i have no anger at all against them because i know i deserved as i was a very naughty child.How do you correct a naughty child?Thankfully my son was not like me and more like his mum.

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    It is plain this president is no good, this all Sri Lankans know. May be the reason he was abused as a child. I had never hit my children, but one day I raised a chair to threat my 5 year old son, he cried a whole day. After that I knew even threading, without bodily harm is no good. So people keep your anger to yourself you won’t and can’t hit a child unless you are angry. I’d you want to reform someone through anger, it won’t do good.

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    Grusha, this has been a more worthwhile article than what you wrote about Ranil Wickremasinghe and lingerie!
    .
    You have made valid points about the curse of domestic violence etc. You have also revealed that Dr Thush Wicks is the daughter of the late Prime Minister. I’ll come back here to comment. Is it not correct to say that she was in the Private University, the North Colombo Medical College, about thirty years ago? There’s something that I have to say about all that.
    .
    Hasn’t Thush been blowing this up out of all proportion, and in the process, exposing her daughter to all sorts of stress by keeping her in a hostile environment for more than a year?
    .
    Also, when I checked yesterday I did not find a Sinhalese version of this article. Please try to place Sinhala versions of your articles in as many newspapers as possible, starting, of course with CT. But we know that CT is not the best way to get messages across to the entire country.

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    Have we all forgotten who inflicted this guy on us?

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    Best JOKER in the world.
    Sirisena is the best joker.
    Shame…Shame….Shame…

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    Please cover physical and sexual abuse of domestics, sexual exploitation by the clergy, school teachers, police, superiors at work place etc.

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    Grusha, “THANK YOU”

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    In times gone by , corporal punishment was the norm in some schools. . The head of the school I attended was from brought in “from outside” . He a man of the cloth who had no experience in the fine art of caning , and was often way off target resulting in minor injury to the recipient at times .We all took it in our stride , with the goal being never to flinch or show pain . Did it toughen us up , it sure did – cause permanent ’emotional scars’ – I don’t think so .
    When we look around today at the namby pamby products of ‘other’ schools and the havoc they have wreaked on Sri Lankan society , I’d give a thumbs up to corporal punishment any day .

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    Well written content about child abuse utilizing corporal punishment mooted by our own president which is not an appropriate thing in modern times. In a way, we can’t put the blame wholesale on him. It is due to the fact that President Sirisena was brought to this position from nowhere to replace a dictatorial regime which was a serious political calamity. First and foremost he is not familiar with this kind of issues and hails from a remote village and his theory to correct a child is to ‘Lamayata Gandaona’. That may be his style. In the modern era, none punishes a kid using a cane or stick. As present day’s kids try to reciprocate by other means and the worst could be led up to suicide which could be the worst outcome. President should leave this subject to the professionals who will do the right thing. Therefore president should take his hands off.

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    The fellow wants to hang people. If he does, we will prosecute him for murder for sure once he leave office. Let there be no doubt about it. It is a cruel punishment that should not be practised in a Buddhist country. It is unconstitutional. We will have to ensure that this man is prosecuted if he permits the hanging of any person so that we could bring capital punishment to an end in Sri Lanka. There have been too many killings in the country to legitimise official killings. Sirisena is a war criminal as is Gota. We cannot have this country ruled by cold blooded killers.

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      kabaragoya
      ” It is a cruel punishment “not be practised in a Buddhist country. “

      Don’t you think whatever happened to the victims was cruel?Or do you say it was kind to take vidya and gang rape her and cut out her breasts then choke her by thrusting her panties down her throat,all the time videoing it.Was it kind to take a 7 year old child from a house in the night,rape her and strangle her.Put your bhuddhism up yours.BTW what about the atrocities committed by your ‘war heroes’ in a bhuddhist country?Do you condemn them or not?

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    I wonder how Sillysena’s father treated his brothers. One is a Moghul in control of the SL Telecom, without even knowing how a polkatu (coconut shell) phone works. The other runs the rice and the sand mafia from Polonnaruwa. From these ‘achievements’ we can say, unlike Sillysena they were spared of the rod.
    .
    That is why they have risen to such great heights as indicated by the proclamation of one that he will ‘hit and chase away’ (ගහල පන්නනව) some NGO people, because he doesn’t like them. One who bought a petrol station and a house in Nuwara Eliya would not lend even a Rupee to Sillysena according to Sillysena himself. Wonder whether these differences are due to the rod.
    .
    Is the re-incarnation of the human flesh eating Rakthaksha of the Kadawata area who decimated 7 villages activated as predicted by folklore?

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      Edwin Mahathayo,

      as as senior citizen of this country, you may lot more about to analyse the people right ? Also your long term stay out of the country should have brought you lot more knowledge about the other nationalities. I assume. Having said that, DONT you think that whole of our people do suffer from an inferiority complex of rarity.
      They simply dont look at the other with happy mind. If the others would go down, schadenfreude is overwelmed. And also the enviousness they are infected is not describable by words. How come people though calling them selves to be virtually the buddhists (non-violenc practisers) but to behave other way around.
      Those who have exposed to various culture through their education, which are the minority seem to be so tolerant but others, share their common thoughts (enviousness, hatred, devioius, malicious nature). These are aforementioned attributes in their charactors are common to many. More you are rural, more hatreds they accompany with.. This I also noticed at Pera and also where we had some gatherings in outside the country (europe). They the lanken average I mean the heterogenous gatherings, end up mostly the unexpected. Now I dont even turn up myself mingling with our folks having learnt from my previous sessions. We did lot more together for the country also at the time, nature hit the nation in Tsunami 2004. THere I myself collected over 50K euro for some in Galle area, but I think to this day, I feel, not a single family would be grateful to us. That is the real nature of uncivilized majority in our rotten hell.. dont you think so Mr ?

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        Buramphisincho, Certainly, most of our people seem to be uncivilized, boorish and want to put down the other. Why so? Who or what is to be blamed for this? You say “I feel, not a single family would be grateful to us”. I am shocked.
        .
        Here in the ME people do not show much gratitude because they are conditioned from childhood to believe that everything comes from Allah. In your case the thinking would be like this. Allah gave us all this through his agent Buramphisincho. They are grateful to Allah but not so much to the human donor.
        .
        On the other hand, what did Buddha say about Dana (giving)?
        .
        1. What you give should be through honestly earned means. (That eliminates thieves like MR and Sira).
        2. The recipient should accept it willingly.
        3. When you give it should be a total renunciation. (Do not regret later).
        4. Do not accept anything from the act of giving.
        5. Be grateful to the recipient for accepting what you give.
        The Dana is very beneficial because it helps the donor to reduce Thanha (craving)

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          CORRECTION:
          .
          4. Do not accept ……above should read as, 4, Do not expect

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    “………religiously sanctioned sexual abuse of children within the closed doors of temples, churches, kovils, mosques and ‘madrasas’.”

    It does not happen in Hindu kovils. Even if it does, that must be a very rare occurrence.

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    Time to stop surely but beware of people like Dr T who as far as I can see is just using the cause for her own political motives as the daughter of the former Prime Minister. I object to people who want to rise to power using some good cause to profile themselves, and this cause should not be our children. Honest politicians are few and far between.

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    Everybody on the bandwagon, let’s get all aggressive and get some laws past about child abuse, even if we have to abuse, and cane, a few people on the way. And it is a marvelous platform to profile oneself and a really good way to start a political career, being the champion of a good cause.
    Sri Lankans are in general happy, tolerant, and caring people. So we don’t despair and rant and rage, we use tolerance and educate the society changing the mind set in a loving way. Go abroad do you see smiling faces? Here we still know how to smile, and we still have values. And our kids are marvelous. Have a nice day—smile.

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    Thank you for this post. PLEASE do translate this article in Sinhala and Tamil and reprint in the mass media. It is insane that our First Citizen is also the First Abuser.

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    Thanks for speaking up against corporal punishment. This is very important because there is a lot of resistance to letting go of corporal punishment in south asian countries. In western countries this issue is already beyond debate – corporal punishment is rightly treated as a crime full stop.

    It is so funny that every time this issue is raised in south asia, some guys will jump up and say ‘but but but I turned out well only because I was beaten!”. My standard response (at least in my mind) is “well, sure you were beaten, but what makes you think you turned out well?” Now MS has joined this bandwagon. The truth is that, if he was beaten, then that is such a strong example to parents not to beat up their children, because we all know how he turned out. hahaha.

    The reality is that corporal punishment is more likely to create a bad citizen out of a normal child, than turn a bad child into a well-behaved citizen. There are other ways of punishing and disciplining a child, if disciplining is needed.

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