More children forced to meet rising sex
By Ranee Mohamed
When officers of the Women's and Children's
Bureau visited Weligama, some young
members of the clergy had been admitted to
the Weligama hospital. These children,
mainly from poor families had been given
over to lead virtuous lives with the purity
of heart and mind, so that they would follow
a religious way of life.
But what happened at Weligama was different.
A karate master who had rented a room in the
neighbourhood of the place of religious
worship had lured the children who were
members of the clergy and taken them away.
They were found in the hands of foreigners
whom police have been unable to identify as
According to police sources, they had been
sold to foreigners and were found in a hotel
room on Wednesday getting a taste of the
vile happenings of life away from the
Taken into custody
"We have taken the karate master and several
others associated in the 'selling' of eight
of these young members," said a police
When The Sunday Leader contacted the
Weligama Police Station, Acting OIC
Abeygunewardene said that he did not wish to
speak to the newspapers about this incident.
In another complex happening believed to be
a sexual liaison, a German national from
Kollupitiya was taken into custody by the
officers of the Women and Children's Bureau
last week when he was found in a room asleep
with two Pakistani children.
"The children were naked and covered with a
sheet and the foreigner opened the door
wearing his underwear," said a police source
and went on to elaborate that the German
national had appointed a Pakistani national
as an executive in his company. This
Pakistani national had come to Sri Lanka
with his wife's 14 year old sister and her
seven year old brother. The two young boys
found naked in bed with the German
national were found to be the brother of the
wife of the Pakistani national and the
other, the German national's own seven year
Women and Children's Bureau Police are in
the process of assessing this very complex
sex ring about which they were tipped off.
"We were informed that abuse of children by
this foreigner was taking place in this busy
area in Kollupitiya," said a police source.
Meanwhile the Pundaluoya police arrested a
Malaysian national working at the Upper
Kotmale Project. He was found to be in an
intimate position with a 14 year old girl in
his room. The child is said to be a poor
girl from the Donsinon Lower Division
Meanwhile it is reported that the rate of
child sexual abuse in Sri Lanka has seen a
steep rise this year with 866 cases reported
to the police Women and Children's Bureau
upto May alone. Of this, 156 have been
classed as sexual exploitation, 196 as
grave sexual abuse, 346 as rape and 168 as
other kinds of sexual abuse.
It must be noted that these are only the
cases of sexual abuse reported. Not all
cases of sexual abuse are reported either
due to the fear of the children or the
disbelief and non acceptance by elders.
According to police sources the police
divisions with the highest number of sexual
exploitation cases reported are Kegalle
with 20 cases and Anuradhapura with 31 rape
cases. Grave sexual abuse cases have been
reported from the
Anuradhapura and Ratnapura police divisions with the reported
number of cases in Ratnapura being 14.
Last year, grave crimes involving children
were reported from Ratnapura, Anuradhapura,
and Chilaw, the numbers being 179, 120 and
The rise in the number of young boys being
sexually abused is also causing concern
Police have also been tipped off about the
happenings near hotels at night time where
women beg from 'car-diners.' It has been
observed that children who accompany these
poor women run the risk of being sexually
abused in the night time.
This new threat from night time 'car diners'
came to light when a pedestrian observed a
strange man inside a three-wheeler kissing a
child on her lips.
The Women and Children's Bureau headed by
Director, SSP Ravi Waidyalankara however
says that the Bureau will be strict in the
cracking down of crimes, violence and abuse
"What is needed is maximum penalty. Archaic
fines will not help to arrest this abuse,"
said the Bureau's OIC, Chief Inspector
Buddhika Balachandara when contacted by The
"Internet porn sites and pornographic films
have wreaked mental havoc. These
pornographic material ought to be weeded out
from society. Pornographic material seems to
have infiltrated our society, so much so
that such photos are even saved on mobile
phones," said the OIC and went on to say
that the Bureau will not be lax in its
investigations against child abuse.
The Bureau advises parents to be more
careful and observant about their children.
Children have reportedly been subject to
abuse frequently by those 'known' to the
family and are 'close' to the family, and a
few by strangers.
As children wander in their innocence
searching for adventures and fairy tales,
they have been trapped by scheming adults -
sometimes to be abused by themselves and yet
others to be abused by others, for want of a
quick cash flow.
But none of these offenders - some of whom
have young brothers, sisters, nieces,
nephews and even their own children, pause
to think of the nightmare of the little ones
who have to undergo physical trauma at the
hands of the perverts.
Beginning of the end
for the sili sili bag
The ban on plastic shopping bags has been
received with mixed feelings by the public.
There were mixed reactions on the impact -
negative or otherwise - that these bags have
on the environment.
Plastic bags have been a source of
convenience for shoppers in which they carry
their shopping and for the purpose of
storing groceries and other food items in
At present five main supermarket chains have
begun to charge their customers for shopping
bags which were hence given free.
Keells Super, Cargills Food City, Arpico
Supercentres, Laugfs and Magna have already
implemented this scheme on the instructions
of the Environment Ministry and are now
charging their customers for the shopping
It is however important to note that there
are hundreds of people who do not go to
these establishments (supermarkets) to do
their shopping but patronise the thousands
of grocery stores or smaller supermarkets
all over the country that still provide
plastic bags to their customers free of
Some people say that this is a step in the
right direction by the authorities as many
countries have already banned the use of
plastic bags in order to protect the
Plastic bags have in fact been found to be
blocking drains and the sewage systems not
only in Sri Lanka but also in other parts of
An example is the damage caused by plastic
bags in Bangladesh over the last couple of
decades by blocking drains, especially
during heavy rains, resulting in many areas
going underwater and the attendant loss of
lives and damage to property.
People carelessly throw these plastic bags
into rivers, lakes and even the sea. This
has resulted in fish consuming these bags
and then dying from suffocation. Animals
that eat off garbage dumps have died
consuming these bags as they get stuck in
their digestive systems.
These plastic bags - better known as sili
sili bags are also responsible for making
the landscape look unsightly with bits of
these bags in various colours stuck on
fences and also being strewn on public areas
like roads and parks.
Decades to decompose
However the biggest problem is that these
bags cannot be destroyed easily - they take
decades if not centuries to decompose. If
they are buried with other garbage the
overall decomposing process will be severely
hampered as the plastic acts as a barrier
between the elements while also releasing
toxins if they are burned.
If the authorities concerned intend making
a difference to the environment the rule of
charging for the plastic bags should be
extended to all sales outlets island wide,
irrespective of the outlets being big, small
or even those on the pavement. This is bound
to make a significant difference to
achieving the objective of protecting the
environment from the negative impact of
these sili sili bags.
The environmental implications of polythene
bags that take hundreds of years to
decompose are harsh.
Negative outcomes include waste locked away
in the millions of plastic bags in
landfills, the littering of landscapes and
waterways, threats to wildlife and toxic gas
emissions through burning.
Most Sri Lankan households re-use these sili
sili bags to collect garbage in addition to
using them for a multitude of reasons.
The authorities concerned should take
effective measures to educate and create
awareness among the public on recycling all
household waste - wet garbage, plastics,
glass and paper. While measures are in place
to separate such waste only a few households
take the time and trouble to separate their
garbage while most simply dump them all into
one sili sili bag to be thrown at a garbage
dump or to be handed over to the garbage
collectors who call over once a week or so.
Household garbage can be recycled and made
into compost; plastic and glass can be used
to make other by-products and paper too can
One can only hope that Sri Lankans as a
whole will take cognisance of the fact that
the environment needs to be protected and be
civic minded by making their own
contribution toward protecting the
environment rather than contributing toward
destroying it as has been the case in the
Actions of Right/Left
Students who get very low marks in
mathematics and language are generally
written off as low achievers and
unintelligent students by most teachers the
A student who is unable to comprehend a
simple mathematical formula after much
repetition is seen to be a genius once he
sits on the stool in front of a set of
Another creates complex and complicated
musical rhythms and melodies on his guitar,
though he is unable to write a simple
A third child, who finds it difficult to
calculate the speed of a car, when he is
given the distance travelled and the time
taken, might show his prowess as a
pole-vaulter whose brain would, in a matter
of milliseconds, process the height of the
bar, the weight of the pole, speed of his
feet, acceleration of his body, distance to
the launching pad and command his wrists to
keep the base of the pole at the correct
point on the launching pad, use the momentum
and the gravity to his advantage to rise and
glide over the bar, getting the maximum
support from the pole but release it just at
the critically important point.
How do we explain this phenomena?
Mathematics and language are Left Brain
activities while music, dance and rhythm are
Right Brain actions.
While the Left Brain would like to tear
apart things and see the components, the
Right Brain would see the big picture.
Maybe that these students have fully
developed Right Brains while their Left
Brains are not that strong.
This poses a problem for teachers - who is
an intelligent child?
To answer that question, one must first ask
'What is intelligence?'
Professor Howard Gardener posits that there
are eight different types of intelligences.
1. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence -
this involves logic, mathematical operations
and manipulations, inductive as well as
deductive reasoning, and abstract
2. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence -
involves language, syntax, nuances,
connotations and all linguistic applications
3. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence -
involves physical actions, sports, dance,
acting and performing.
4. Musical Intelligence - involves
capacity to recognise and compose musical
pitches, tones and rhythms. Skills of
performance, composition and appreciation of
musical patterns belong here.
5. Spatial Intelligence - involves
vision, hand-eye coordination and spatial
6. Interpersonal Intelligence - this
involves interaction with other people,
7. Intra-Personal Intelligence - this
involves reflective, introspective skills
8. Naturalistic Intelligence -
involves nature and relating oneself to
natural surroundings, receiving and
processing information from the natural
My original question has now become a
challenge, both for the students and their
Who are the intelligent students in your
class? And who are not?
- Somabandhu Kodikara
Headmaster, Gateway College
First copy of 'N.U.'
biography presented to Indian Prime Minister
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
holding a copy of the book, N.U.
Jayawardena - The First Five Decades
which was presented to him by the
authors, Kumari Jayawardena and
Jennifer Moragoda, and other members
of the Jayawardena family. In photo:
(L-R): Jennifer Moragoda, Kumari
Jayawardena, Gurshran Kaur (Prime
Minister Singh's wife), and Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh
The first copy of the biography, N.U.
Jayawardena - The First Five Decades, was
presented to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh when he visited Colombo for the SAARC
Summit. Prime Minister Singh first met N.U.
Jayawardena in the early 1950s, when the
Prime Minister was a student of Economics at
Cambridge University with NU's eldest son
The authors of the book, Kumari Jayawardena
(NU's daughter-in-law) and Jennifer Moragoda
(his grand daughter-in-law); the wife of the
Prime Minister, Gurshran Kaur; and other
members of the Jayawardena family were also
The biography examines the formative
experiences in N.U. Jayawardena's early life
and career, and the role he played, behind
the scenes, in shaping some of Sri
Lanka's key financial and economic
infrastructure. His life is set against the
backdrop of the political, economic and
social upheavals of the first half of the
20th century, such as the Great Depression
of the 1930s, the Second World War, and the
period of Sri Lanka's transition into an
The biography was published to mark
Deshamanya N.U. Jayawardena's birth
centenary (1908-2008). Jayawardena who lived
until the age of 94, and who started his
career as a government clerk, rose to become
the first Sri Lankan governor of the Central
Bank, and later served as a senator. He
spent the second half of his career in the
private sector as a leading banker,
financier and businessman.
The book will be available in early
September in leading bookstores. All
proceeds from the sale of the book will be
donated to the N.U. Jayawardena Charitable
A press conference was held to
announce the two day celebrations
Vibrant costumes, colourful cultural
performances, infectious music, indigenous
Malay artifacts, scintillating smells and
nail-biting sports action are just a few
things to look forward to at the Sri Lanka
Malay Rally 2008.
The two-day celebration of Sri Lanka Malay
culture begins on Saturday, August 16 at the
Padang Complex, Colombo 2. Saturday's events
will include a gala opening followed by
sports, a mega cultural pageant with
simultaneous kid's fun activities and trade
On Sunday 17th will be the much anticipated
Malay "Do You Know" contest and the
culmination of the programme will be an
The rally hosted by the Sri Lanka Malay
Association and Colombo Malay Cricket Club
is being presented on the theme "Berkumpul
Untuk Mempererat Persaudaraan - United in
Brotherhood," in an effort to stimulate and
advocate the uniqueness and unity of Malays
in Sri Lanka. With its past success the
rally is an ideal avenue to preserve the
Malays' rich history and strong cultural
ties as a community.
The last rally held in 2006, fuelled a great
response from Sri Lankan Malays where
various Malay organisations throughout the
island came together to participate in the
This year the rally promises to be even more
splendid; steered by an enterprising and
efficient committee comprising of members of
the Sri Lanka Malay Association and the
Colombo Malay Cricket Club. Co-Chairmen of
the committee Iqram Cuttilan and Rohan
Musafer state, "We are a small but robust
community having a rich heritage and
culture. Malays reside all over the country
and through this rally we are creating an
opportunity to bring all the Malays
together. We are also making this an
opportunity to display our Malay dances,
songs and taste authentic Malay cuisine."
Culture of Malays in Sri Lanka
These ambitious goals make the rally one of
the few events that showcases the full
diversity of culture of Malays in Sri Lanka
and the patrons of the event take great joy
in seeing both elders and the youth perform
and being so passionate about the Malay
culture. "It stands testimony to the
knowledge that the heritage and culture of
Sri Lankan Malays will be carried on by the
youth for generations to come," said the
In addition, the growing popularity and
participation of the Malays in Sri Lanka at
this event is making it the 'meeting point'
where the community has the opportunity to
learn, see and experience the best of Sri
Lankan Malay culture.
Oldest Ceylonese Cricket Club
The Colombo Malay Cricket Club was founded
in 1872 and is the oldest Ceylonese cricket
club. Founded in 1922 as a non-political
organisation under the guidance of the Late
M. K. Saldin, the All Ceylon Malay
Association (now the Sri Lanka Malay
Association) has served tirelessly to
preserve and portray the cultural and
religious principles of the Malay community.
All funds generated by the SLMA and CMCC are
used to support its efforts to safeguard and
promote the Malay tradition, language and
In addition, its approved charity, the SLMA
Rupee Fund founded by Late B. Zahiere Lye
has provided assistance to over 10,000
Animal cruelty goes on
Dr. Thilakarathne sterilising a dog
By Risidra Mendis
The helpless cries of kittens and puppies
and the sad looks on the faces of hundreds
of dogs and cats dumped on the streets is a
common sight. Despite it being a
predominantly Buddhist country it is ironic
that Sri Lanka has become one of the most
horrendous countries when it comes to animal
Animal rights and updated laws, new shelters
for animals and getting the police involved
in nabbing those who inflict cruelty on
animals are common topics of discussion
among animal rights activists and animal
rights lawyers. However these discussions,
though positive, have continued to be only
discussions. The end result being that
animal cruelty has for many years remained
an unsolved issue and animals continue to
suffer at the hands of humans.
Dogs are beaten, starved and chased away
from houses and offices because some people
consider them to be a menace. The value of a
dog for security purposes and as a companion
is ignored and 'Man's best friend' has
become 'Man's worst enemy.'
Lack of facilities
Animal shelters or orphanages for animals
that are abandoned and injured are only a
dream these days. The only animal shelter in
the country known as the Animal Welfare and
Protection Society doesn't take in any
animals as they cannot re-home the animals
they presently have.
The lack of proper treatment towards
innocent animals, especially dogs and cats,
and the shortage of a shelter to house
injured or abandoned animals have resulted
in many households and other stray animals
ending up on the streets as strays. The
government's lack of interest in addressing
this problem has also contributed towards an
increased number of strays on the streets.
In Sri Lanka there are many people who claim
to be animal rights activists and animal
lovers. However these people fall in to two
categories - those who only talk about
animal welfare but do nothing when an animal
is in trouble, and those who go out of their
way, irrespective of the consequences to
help animals when they are in trouble.
Among the genuine animal lovers are Rukmani
de Abrew Wickremasinghe, Shanthini Sanjaya,
Sagarica Rajakarunanayake, Penny
Jayewardene, Udayangani and organisations
such as KACPAW and the Blue Paw Trust among
others. Some veterinary surgeons have also
expressed their interest in helping this
cause and have even held free sterilisation
programmes to control the stray dog
Most of these animal rights activists spend
their own money to look after these innocent
animals that end up on the roads due to the
cruel and inhuman attitudes of some people.
"There are some people who prefer to spend
millions on party outfits and dance the
night away at night clubs instead of giving
some of their money toward animal welfare
while there are others who prefer to laugh
and make nasty remarks at those who
genuinely care for animals. I'm always
harassed by my neighbours because I have
many dogs and cats in my house and because I
feed the strays on my road," says de Abrew
However if the plans of Dr. E. K.
Thilakarathne, a veterinary surgeon, to
start an animal orphanage for injured and
abandoned animals materialise many strays
will finally have a place to call home. Dr.
Thilakarathne is on the lookout for a piece
of land to start the orphanage.
"We have a few puppies that need to be given
to kind animal lovers. These puppies are
vaccinated against rabies, parvo and
distemper. We don't have the space to take
in strays and abandoned puppies on a large
scale due to a space problem, which is why
we are looking out for land between Mount
Lavinia and Bandaragama. We are looking for
land of one acre or more in extent and would
appreciate if a kind person could donate a
piece of land for the sake of these
animals," Dr. Thilakarathne said.
He works with the help of another genuine
animal lover who funds many sterilisation
programmes. "Our vision is to control the
spread of rabies and reduce the stray dog
population by conducting free sterilisation
programmes," Dr. Thilakarathne explained.
Among the work carried out by him with the
help of the animal lovers is rescuing and
treating injured stray dogs, rehabilitation,
re-homing and giving vaccinations.
It is one and a half years since Dr.
Thilakarathne commenced this programme. He
has done over 1000 sterilisations and
re-homed 40 to 50 puppies to date. "No
sooner I get the land I can start the
shelter and help all those strays suffering
on the roads," Dr. Thilakarathne said.
The food some people miss out on
The girls are big into watching cookery
programmes these days. I sincerely
hope they are picking up some good
tips. It all looks so simple, the cook looks
very calm, unruffled and totally not hot and
bothered. As if this is true, actually! Not
for me, it isn't.
So, on TV, everything is flung into a pan,
sauces and seasonings are tossed in and they
end up in seconds looking something simply
marvellous! Yes, I'm poking fun at someone.
The cook also looks like a fashion model at
the end of it all. Hmm. The girls get
annoyed with me because I sit down with them
and give a running commentary, usually
something most derogatory, though sometimes
they do fall over laughing.
I was just thinking, the things that taste
good sometimes could smell rather pongy.
Like garlic, onions, dried sprats, and dried
fish? I know most Westerners abhor these
smells probably because their houses are
closed up and carpeted. They can't have the
same amount of fresh air blowing through as
our homes because of the weather.
Odour of garlic
Well, they do miss out! Apparently the odour
of garlic, once consumed, stays for days in
your breath and permeates through your skin.
I use loads of garlic, and I haven't noticed
anyone shuddering and cringing away from me
holding their noses. Maybe we brush our
teeth more often and we perspire more, so it
passes out sooner.
Imagine cooking without garlic? Raw onions
can stink up your breath too, but they are
so nice and crunchy in a salad! Imagine us
Lankans not having our tasty seeni sambol
because of the smell of onions?
The medicinal properties of garlic and
onions in the days of yore were definitely
recognised. It was also thought to give
strength to the body. That's why the slaves
who built the pyramids were fed heaps of
onions and garlic. Greek warriors were also
fed on these two bulbs, for strength as well
as medicinal purposes for wounds.
Plenty of garlic
Sailors at sea in ancient times also always
had an ample supply of them, to ward off
disease. Egyptians gave the slaves who rowed
their ships plenty of garlic. Imagine the
combined smell of sweat and garlic! And the
most useful property is that it wards off
vampires, how handy! So go for it!
Lots of my pals who live overseas say how
their neighbours complain when they cook
curries. Of course dried fish and dried
sprats are totally out! Too stinky. Poor
things, I don't know how they manage to
Once this American guest hadn't been
forewarned that our dried fish is actually
salted and dried, and took a large spoonful
and promptly spat it out! They call it
salt-fish apparently. His blood pressure
must have shot up for several reasons.
My girls also say that their Japanese
neighbour from the apartment downstairs
comes to ask if they can please shut the
windows when they are cooking curries as the
smell is going into her apartment!
I gave the Dreamer a clear and succinct
outline of how she should have answered her.
She laughingly replied that she would be
ousted on her ear by the owner, and very
fast. I mean to say, what about raw, smelly
fish, seafood and seaweed? ( that we all
love to eat, by the way!) People can be sooo
intolerant! Or maybe we have grown
accustomed to living in a smelly
It is delicious
Another day, when the girls got a craving
for coconut sambol, they had walked a long
distance to buy a coconut and were exhausted
in the first place. Then they carefully
prepared it and just when they were about to
eat, in walked their flat mates. They are
all Malaysians, and apparently they look
dubiously at any food cooked by the girls
and politely decline. Soooo unadventurous!
So, they said no thank you very politely,
but hearing the girls moaning in ecstasy,
asked them curiously why they liked it so
much. They replied that they had this almost
every day at home, so one of them had a
little pinch, and then thoughtfully munched
and said, "Oh, it is good! In fact, it's
Then the others cautiously tried little bits
as well, pronounced it delicious, and
proceeded to devour the entire dish, saying
"Yuuum! Sooooo good!" and the girls hardly
had any for themselves.
So, you never know until you try! I draw the
line at blue cheese and durian, but some
folks earnestly assure me that these taste
- Honky Tonk Woman
An engineering student is walking along when
a fellow student arrives on a new bicycle.
Impressed, he asks, "When did you get this
"Well," the second engineering student says,
"A couple of days ago I was just walking
along when this gorgeous blonde pulls up,
hops off the bike, rips off all her clothes,
and says 'take what you want.'"
The other engineering student nods and says,
"Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn't
Three couples are dining together.
The American husband says to his wife: "Pass
me the honey, Honey."
The English husband says to his wife: "Pass
me the sugar, Sugar."
The Sri Lankan husband says to his wife:
"Pass me the steak, Dumb Cow."
"Doctor, please hurry. My son swallowed a
"Don't panic, I'm coming immediately. Have
you done anything yet?"
"Yea, I shaved with the electric razor."
Free of charge...
One prisoner to another: "How long are you
in this jail?" Second prisoner: "Two weeks."
First prisoner: "What was the charge?"
Second prisoner: "No charge, everything is
A woman reported the disappearance of her
husband to the police. The officer in charge
looked at the photograph she handed him,
questioned her, and then asked if she wished
to give her husband any message if they
"Yes," she replied readily. "Tell him Mother
didn't come after all."
Pity the man
The courtroom was packed as testimony began
in the sentencing hearing of a woman
convicted of murdering her husband of 20
years by poisoning his coffee.
The defence attorney knew he had his work
cut out for him in order to make his client
appear more sympathetic to the Judge, since
she had been so matter-of-fact about the
whole thing during the trial.
"Mrs. Roth," he began, "was there any point
that morning where you felt pity for your
"Well... yeah... I guess..." she replied.
"And when was that?" pressed the attorney.
"Well... when he asked for his third cup,"
Who was that?
After putting her children to bed, a mother
changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse
and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard
the children getting more and more
rambunctious, her patience grew thin.
At last she threw a towel around her head
and stormed into their room, putting them
back to bed with stern warnings. As she left
the room, she heard her three-year-old say
with a trembling voice, "Who was that?"