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Meet The Parents… The Rector And Our Readers…

Jul 31, 2010 3:40:34 PM - thesundayleader.lk

A safe environment is needed for school children

We received several responses to the article titled “Fractured Discipline” by Ranee Mohamed in our issue of July 25. We publish below a few responses with a view to setting right any irregularities that may occur in the future in the interests of both the students and the school authorities.

Gives Wrong Impression
The title “Fractured Discipline” and the article written there under gives a wrong impression which I write to correct.

I am the Chairman of the Organising Committee which organised the Josephian Walk 2010 and the carnival that followed. The carnival was attended by a large number of persons; men and women, Josephians and other well wishers.

The incident referred to is said have occurred at approximately 10.30 pm towards the end of the carnival. Your article alleges that Dinal Fonseka was assaulted.

There is no allegation that the person who assaulted him was a Josephian. The police are inquiring in to the matter at present, so I do not wish to comment further.

However, the alleged incident that took place at a carnival cannot in any way be described as  lack of discipline of the school or its authorities.

Sampath Fernando
Chairman, Organising Committee
Josephian Walk 2010

Time To Make A Change Thank you

Thank you for your article in the Review of The Sunday Leader!  I commend you for your brave work on behalf of this young life. This is not the first time St. Joseph’s College ignored a student being assaulted on school premises and turned a blind eye. Out of jealousy or hatred, students who do well are assaulted and harassed, but the school authorities continue to pretend that it is a ‘minor offence’. Unless they change their ways, this will be a perpetual occurence in the school. If this time around too, they fail to address the issue, they will have to wait for a bigger and more ‘deadlier’ wake up call, but I am afraid that next time around it will be more damaging to the reputation of the school and the authorities.


Accountability Needed

Good name of the school or the safety of the students?

It is very disappointing again to see the failing of school systems in regards to student (child) protection.

Student attacks and/or deaths on school premises is the sole responsibility of the school especially if it was an event approved by the school. Reverend Gihan may be a man of the cloth but must be held accountable for this and a police investigation must be done.

As an unbiased individual who would like to see Sri Lankan school systems to progress forward, it would be in the best interests of the students to suspend the Reverend from his duties and to appoint a better suited individual who prioritises the students well-being before a school’s “good name”.

If the events that occurred at Musaeus College has taught us nothing; let this reiterate the message.

R. Savanghan

Seeking Truth And Justice 27th July, 2010.

Dear Ms. Ranee Mohamed

Thank you so much for finding time to listen to us during the most traumatic time in our lives. We as parents can never forget what befell our son Dinal.

Your candid exposure of the truth after intensive questioning has brought into question the “strict discipline” the Rector referred to in his comment last week. I will refrain from going into details of at least three serious incidents about which I have briefed His Grace the Archbishop. Love for the Church prevents me from going into the ugly details and making them public. All three, reek of his inability to administer, or, put another way his being a misfit bequeathed on St. Joseph’s by the then authorities who appointed him.

He now stands answerable to the police about the present incident, which he has dodged by sending the Principal of the Primary, Fr. Gihan and Fr. Pradeep, Priest in Charge of Boarders who initially mishandled the entire matter and sheepishly answered the questions of the Inquiring Officer. I wish to express my thanks to the parents and their sons who appeared of their own accord and some of them,  Dinal’s team mates,  a flabbergasted Fr. Gihan in Sinhala asked why are these children and parents made to “rasthiadufy”  in order to curry favour with the parents. The Rector refers to the incident being “minor.” Is he waiting for a murder to call it “major”?

My son’s Record Book will bear testimony as to whether all the concoctions of the Rector and Fr. Gihan, are not diabolical lies since there is not a single adverse remark in it. The harassment faced by my son has reached its zenith with the Women’s & Children Protection Bureau summoning him, the then Rev. Prefect of Games who is now in another prominent Catholic School in Colombo and the Cricket Coach now employed by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for an inquiry on the 30th of July 2010 into a case that occurred two years ago. Let’s await the outcome.
I shall say no more for now. It is the unending harassment and injustice he has faced from the college authorities that has taken the vitality out of him. If all the allegations hurled by the authorities are correct why did they continue to keep him in school? It is surprising that this “disciplinarian” has let the miscreant sons of favourite teachers get away with crimes without as much as a note in their Record Books. All this is available with His Grace the Archbishop and will be made public in due course.

It is pertinent to ask the Rector who dodged the inquiry at the Maradana Police Station? How long more could he go on doing it and with the other inquiry fixed for the 30th of July 2010?

Thank you Ranee. You withstood the barbs hurled at you over the issue at Museaus. Now do the same for St. Joseph’s even though they hurl missiles. The truth is always unpalatable and bitter. It takes someone to stand up to injustice. We shall then know the truth and the “Truth shall make you free.”

With gratitude.
Mr. & Mrs. Amaranath Fonseka