School lifts suspension order on minister’s son


A school drama centering on the alleged misconduct of a student of Royal College, Colombo, has come to an abrupt close. The school has withdrawn a suspension order on Ramith Rambukwella, son of Cabinet minister and defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, which had banned the student from taking part in school extra-curricular activities for one month.

This decision follows a visit to the Royal College principal’s office by Upali Keppetipola, who has described himself as an adviser to the Minister. Mr. Keppetipola is understood to have urged the principal to withdraw the suspension.

According to the Royal College Union, which backs the principal, the principal, the vice-principal and the master in charge of games had decided to withdraw suspension. Last Monday, Mr. Keppetipola had come to Royal College again to call on Mr. Gunasekara. On this occasion, he had demanded a letter from the principal stating that he, Mr. Keppetipola, had not intimidated the principal or members of his staff. The school principal had subsequently sent Minister Keheliya Rambukwella a letter declaring that the Minister had not made any threats to him.

Mr. Gunasekara told The Sunday Times that the issue regarding Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s son had been settled. Meanwhile, the one-month suspension order is still in place for the four other students. The controversial drama began when the minister’s son Ramith, along with four other students, were accused of breaking into the office of the games master in charge, Sugath Liyanagunawardena, and stealing files pertaining to their suspension following the assault of a boy at the Royal College sports complex car park. It is alleged that the minister’s son and his four friends had used a crowbar to force open the door of the office, ransacked the room, and removed files that contained statements of confessions made by the five Grade 11 students relating to the assault of another Grade 11 student.

When Mr. Liyanagunawardena discovered the break-in the next day, he informed the principal, who then called the Cinnamon Gardens Police. A police team immediately arrived at Royal College premises to conduct an investigation, in the course of which they took fingerprints.

According to an officer attached to the Cinnamon Gardens police team inquiring into the break-in, the police are yet to receive statements from the minister’s son.

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