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 Post subject: Catholic priest abused three students
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:18 pm 
07 June, 2005 - Published 14:35 GMT

Court orders to arrest catholic priest
BBC Sinhala

Colombo Magistrate Court has ordered the National Child Protection Authority to arrest and produce before the court Father Terrance Anthony Samaratunge.

Father Samaratunge who is in hiding was the vice principal of Loyala College, Kochchikade, Negombo.

National Child Protection Authority told court that suspected father is alleged to have abused three students in the school.

The authority further told court that they have requested archbishop to provide with information about his movements.

Principal of Loyala College, Trevo Jerad Martin and two others said to have allegedly obstructed to investigations appeared before the court.

The Magistrate giving a severe warning advised them not to interfere with the investigations which are a punishable offence.

The Magistrate asked the National Child Protection Authority to produce a report of the progress of the investigations on the 5th of July.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:25 pm 

Sunday, July 3, 2005
@ Sunday Times

NCPA investigates child abuse allegations in a popular Catholic school in Negombo. Kumudini Hettiarachchi reports

Serious allegations of child abuse are being levelled against the Vice Rector, a Catholic priest, of a popular Catholic, semi-government school in the Negombo area, with the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) launching inquiries.
The NCPA inquiries follow complaints made by teachers -- along with letters and a video clip where some male students allege sexual abuse by the Vice Rector – to an NCPA Protection Officer in May. Immediately thereafter investigation officers of the NCPA had gone to the school and conducted inquiries, recording the statements of the Rector, teachers and four students and also requested the students to present themselves before the Negombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) for examination as is the procedure, The Sunday Times learns.

One student is uncontactable, it is understood.
As the students did not show up before the JMO and on information being received that some of the school authorities were attempting to pressurize the students and their families, the NCPA on May 20 reported the matter to Colombo Chief Magistrate Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena who then issued order that the children be produced before the JMO. On May 26, the three children had been examined by a JMO of the Colombo Medical Faculty, the report of which is awaited.

When the case was called again on June 7, the Chief Magistrate had warned the school authorities not to hinder the NCPA inquiries by attempting to influence the students and their parents. The case is to be taken up next Tuesday, July 5.

Since April, confusion and turmoil have reigned in this mixed school of about 1,800 students and around 70 teachers in Negombo, with a tussle between the Rector (Principal) and several teachers about this serious issue.
The Sunday Times learns that when teachers heard that the Vice Rector who was also the disciplinarian was allegedly inviting children in the age range of 13-18 years into his private room in the Mission House adjoining the school, with promises of goodies such as grapes, apples and chocolates and also alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and money and molesting and sexually abusing them, they requested the children to make complaints in writing and took some accounts even on video.

Amidst the horror of such alleged disclosures, the confusion has been worse confounded, with the school authorities suspending three male teachers on grounds of indiscipline.

“There has been a tradition in our school that whatever complaints we wished to bring to the notice of the Rector, we give in writing. That’s why we asked the children to write their grievances,” says a teacher, adding that the moment these allegations were brought to the notice of the Rector, he retaliated by slapping charges of indiscipline against the teachers whom these children had confided in.

Several teachers who spoke on the promise of anonymity, echoed the question: “Why weren’t these three teachers brought to book earlier. Why did disciplinary issues come up suddenly when the problem of alleged lama apachara by a priest came to the forefront?”

When contacted by The Sunday Times, the Rector of the school denied that teachers had brought such a serious issue to his notice. “We had warned a particular male teacher about an involvement with a female student, some months ago. We have been advising him regularly and due to this he got together with two more teachers to create trouble in the school. All this came about only in the latter part of April. They were absolutely indisciplined, shouting obscenities in the staff room. Is this the example we should set to students? When we realized something was going on in school, I called a meeting but these teachers did not allow us to follow up.”

The Rector assured that both issues – allegations of sexual abuse against the Vice Rector and the unruly behaviour of the three teachers have been reported to the Manager-in-charge of Catholic Schools, Fr. Ivan Perera. The three teachers have, in the meanwhile, been suspended.
Fr. Perera was unavailable for comment.

Agitated parents who have banded themselves as the Viduhala Reka Genime Demapiya Haula are protesting against the situation in the school. They have already sent a strong letter, with over a hundred signatures, to the Archbishop to save the children from undue influences.
Several parents who declined to be named said a protest was being organized last Friday afternoon opposite the school. Their three demands are: Reinstate the teachers who have been suspended; Remove the Rector and hand over the Vice Rector against whom there are these allegations to the law.

Where is he?
Is the Vice Rector absconding? The NCPA, which is now looking for the suspect priest who is alleged to have sexually abused male students, has written to the Archbishop seeking information on his whereabouts.
The Archbishop, writing through his lawyer, has replied that he is unaware about the present whereabouts of the priest. The Archbishop was not available for comment.

Teachers, principals: Bigger role to Play
The duty of the NCPA is to investigate any issue with regard to the protection of children and ensure that the child’s wellbeing comes first, stresses its recently-appointed head Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne.

“We are particularly worried and concerned about any kind of allegations made about institutions that care for children, such as schools which should not only provide education but also be a protective environment,” she says.

While appealing to higher authorities to intervene and ensure that such environments remain protected, she said, “particularly people such as teachers and principals dealing with children who are not only taught to respect but also obey them, have a bigger obligation not to betray this trust that children place in them.”

 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:08 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:42 am
Posts: 22
we need the firing -scod in sri lanka. Authorities must catch these freaking catholic priests and send them to death for committing these offences.............

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