influence pollutes even children's institutions”
Political influence that plague many children's institutions today
results in the standards of childcare deteriorating to such an extent
that the children are exposed to various vulnerable situations with
the possibility of even being abused, Walter Laduwahetty, President
of the Child Protection Society of Sri Lanka said on Friday.
a charitable organization for the welfare of children, at their
72nd Annual General Meeting, said this was one of the main reasons
for the deteriorating conditions in some childcare institutions.
"Political appointments had crippled these institutions. This
phenomenon appears to be the bane of this country", Mr. Laduwahetty
said. He recalled an instance where a politician had telephoned
to influence the Society into appointing one of his stooges for
a vacant position.
said, today no appointment could be made anywhere based on merit.
"The sad part is that it is the innocent children who have
to pay the penalty for the acts of default by adults", he said.
He also drew reference to the number of cases where children were
abused and exploited by both local and foreign paedophiles.
He charged that the loopholes in the country's law provided an easy
escape route for paedophiles.
who come here are purportedly on vacation only to indulge in this
vile practice and when caught and charged in Court, jump bail and
disappear", the president of the CPS said. He also recollected
an incident where a paedophile had escaped punishment even after
having abused more than 1000 children.
The Child Protection
Society runs two homes - one for boys and another for girls. The
Boys' home at Maharagama has 28 children although it has the capacity
to accommodate 45. Many of the children are those sent on orders
from Court or the Department of Probation and Child Care Services,
the Society had requested that more children be sent there.
The Girls home
at Pannipitiya is haven for 49 children. At the beginning of this
year, the home had a total of 54 girls. Meanwhile British High Commission's
Caroline Botha, who was the Chief Guest at the occasion, undertook
to donate the funds obtained from the sale of the book titled 'Palmy
Days' authored by herself at the time she was British High Commissioner
in Sri Lanka, for the welfare of the children and the society.
Ms Botha said
that during her tenure in Sri Lanka she had met paedophiles and
had arranged to have them deported. The AGM ended with a cultural
show by the children residing in the two homes.
Lanka's twins on path to Guinness Book record
The Sri Lanka Twins' Cultural and Development Centre which celebrated
its tenth anniversary yesterday is hoping to set a Guinness record
by organising the world's largest gathering of twins, Managing Director
Mr. Mahinda Hettiarachchi said.
China, Taipei presently holds the Guinness record for the world's
largest gathering of twins.
said they intended breaking China's record this year with the new
wave of registrations expected to be made at its anniversary celebrations.
Sri Lanka could break China's record and find a place in the Guinness
Book of Records if it exceeds the present membership of 3990.
hoping that there will be at least 1000 individuals (500 twins)
who will register at our special counter, thereby increasing our
membership and give us the necessary numbers to break the Chinese
record", Mr. Hettiarachchi said. Presently, Sri Lanka has 3500
twins on record and if the new registration is up to expectations,
it would break the Chinese record.
The Twins Cultural
and Development Centre is also hoping to make a Guinness record
by declaring an 'international twins' day' with the concurrence
of the UN.
Minister Karu Jayasuriya who would be the Chief Guest at the anniversary
celebrations would announce the day the local celebrations are held
be called the 'National twins' day'.