11th June 2000
Front Page
Editorial/Opinion| Business| Sports|
Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine
The Sunday Times on the Web


Little victims 

I am haunted by Nuwan Sanjaya. The shy, traumatized boy child, living like an animal on the rocky shoals of the beach at Ambalangoda after having been grossly abused by a German man, 70 years old. It is cold comfort for us in PEACE (Protecting Environment and Children Everywhere) that the German is serving a prison sentence here for the abuse of this 14-year-old boy - and other boys of the same age. 

Nuwan Sanjaya lost his mother to the black gold of the Gulf countries. She never returned. His father has his mistress and her children. He dislikes the very sight of his eldest son. Refuses to accept him any more. The boy was lured into abuse and blackmailed by his peers. His evidence was vital for the case against the German abuser. He never deviated from the sad, pitiful story of his shame and degradation. For two years he lived on the sea shore, upheld and supported by PEACE, by other 'good samaritans'. At last, after the case, his mother's relatives came to the rescue. He now works on their fishing boats desperately trying to put the broken pieces of his life together. Our blessing goes with him.

This is among several pathetic stories that Maureen Seneviratne relates in 'For the Love of Children' - a personal account of ten years of PEACE work.

Discussing the early days when Maureen got interested in the field of child abuse, she refers to two incidents which remain etched in her mind. One was the instance of a guest-housekeeper of a 10 room facility in Negombo. Gross sexual abuse of boys not older than ten years was going on in the upstair rooms. They were also used in the productions of pornographic videos shot by the dozen in these rooms. "There was the unforgettable little boy on his bicycle, a veritable 'clone' of Damien in the 'Omen' series of films spinning round and round maniacally, on the bicycle he had been gifted by his abuser who claimed to be his friend, spinning round and round till he dropped in sheer exhaustion, poor child. 

"Nor will I ever forget the European man in the garden of that guest-house tossing his cap into the air and jumping up and down in glee at the thought of the 'money! money! money' he would soon be making when he copied his videos for sale in the 'ready markets over there' (in Europe)."

After a decade of selfless service, Maureen asks: How successful have our endeavours been? Have we stopped, even arrested child prostitution, the commercial exploitation of children in Sri Lanka? "I must confess children are yet being sold, bought, lured, abducted, kidnapped for sexual abuse. 

Day after day there are new boys on the beach. The demand is ever present. The supply is endless. Poverty has not been alleviated. Poverty has grown. Over 60% remain below the poverty line in Sri Lanka," Maureen says.


Index Page
Front Page
Sports Plus
Mirrror Magazine

More Plus

Return to Plus Contents


Plus Archives

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business| Sports| Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to 

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.
Hosted By LAcNet