By Tush Wickramanayaka –
We are extremely disappointed, although not surprised by The President’s endorsement of corporal punishment. As the Head of State, The President is responsible for the welfare of all citizens of mother Lanka. Article 11 of the Constitution states ‘No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.
But how can we expect a man who violated the constitution just three months ago to honor the commitment he made to our younger citizens when he endorsed the ‘Pentagon Proposal’, the blue print of the National Action Plan to End Corporal Punishment and agreed to work towards providing a happier and safer learning environment for all children on 30th September 2018 at ‘Walk for Real Change’, organized by Stop Child Cruelty, the ONLY civil society organization committed and recognized internationally by Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to which Sri Lanka is a signatory since 1992, issued a RED ALERT in February 2018. In the Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Sri Lanka, “The Committee would like to draw the State party’s attention to the recommendations concerning the following areas, in respect of which urgent measures must be taken: violence, including corporal punishment (para. 21)…”
Sri Lanka is the only South Asian path finder Country that is a signatory to Global Plan to End Violence Against Children towards achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goal 16.2 in 2030.
The President should be ashamed to be the Head of State of a country that has promised much and achieved little to protect the future generation.
There are several alarming revelations by The President.
MYTH 1 – I was hit so much and I am a better man for it. I still feel the pain
FACT – The irony of this statement is that, if a child needs continuous beating to modify behavior, either the chosen method of discipline is ineffective or the child has developmental delays making it incredibly difficult for him to follow simple commands. If the caning that he experienced was such a joy that he felt necessary to glorify, then why does he still feel the pain? This supports the scientific evidence that the mental agony of punishment is embedded in the limbic system of the brain. At a later stage in life, when the individual is stressed, these feelings are resurfaced. Either the person becomes aggressive themselves or they become delusional. It appears that his aggressive character is coming alive with his determination to inflict pain on others by introducing the death penalty. The President fits the text book description of a victim of corporal punishment.
MYTH 2 – beating a child is part of our culture and ending it is the cry of Western influences
FACT – Though corporal punishment is commonly practiced in Sri Lankan schools and homes alike (De Zoysa, 2006), there is evidence that certain Sri Lankan kings of the past – such as Voharaka Tissa (214-236 AC), Vijayabahu II (1186-1187) and Vijayabahu III (1232-1236) – had prohibited any bodily harm by way of punishment, of children and adults (Moldrich, 1986). However, with the advent of colonial rule in the country, this attitude appears to have changed where it was especially promoted to facilitate its rule (De Silva, 2001; 2007), and has persisted into the present-day society. These colonial rulers have returned to their own motherlands where they have banned such heinous crimes whilst we proudly embrace it as our culture.
MYTH 3 – this is NGO dollars talking
FACT – If any person/s is successful in bringing change to a regime that struggles to find simple solutions, the authorities feel threatened. The biggest insult one can make is to stamp a false financial label against the efforts of genuine individuals. This is intimidation and bullying, another negative characteristic of The President who was subjected to corporal punishment. When a government is weak, when the institutions are crippled and when individuals in government act like they are mentally retarded, civil society organizations step forward. We are citizens of Sri Lanka. As residents of this country where our children are educated we have a moral and social responsibility to ensure the welfare of our children and consolidate our rights within the boundaries of Sri Lanka. We do not require a foreign agenda.
In conclusion, it is our professional opinion that The President is exhibiting the following negative characteristics of physical abuse:
1) Short Term Memory Loss
2) Pathological Lying
3) Delusions of grandeur
4) Inter-generational transformation of violence
5) Lack of respect to common law
6) Bullying and Intimidation
7) The victim becomes the aggressor – wishing to introduce capital punishment
The President is the Head of State of country of chaos, lies and damn lies!