The Sunday Leader

Male Nurse In Boys’ School Gets ‘Treatment’ For Child Abuse

By Ranee Mohamed

A sixty two year old male nurse who had been working in the sick room of S. Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa for six months has been taken into custody by the Welimada police following a complaint of child abuse made by the school authorities.
The suspect is alleged to have committed sexual abuse on 14 students of this boys’ school, in the secluded sickroom.  S. Thomas’s College  is situated in approximately 50 acres of land in the remote village of Gurutalawa and is headed by the Headmaster Rev. Marc Billimoria.
When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Rev. Billimoria said that it was he who had informed the National Child Protection Authority of this happening. “One of the victims ( a child from the middle school) brought his ordeal to my notice. I inquired into the matter and based on these findings, I brought the incident to the attention of the officials of the NCPA,” said Rev. Billimoria. “We will not allow this kind of happening in our school.”
“We have a boarding school and parents have put their children in our charge and their protection comes first,” said the Headmaster.
The Sunday Leader learns that the parents of 12  of the abused children will pursue the matter till justice is meted out to the suspect. Meanwhile it is learnt that Headmaster Rev. Marc Billimoria has initiated regular counseling sessions for the boys who had to undergo this physical trauma at the hands of the male nurse. The Headmaster said that he has also initiated awareness programmes for all the children of this boys’ school. The Sunday Leader learns that the authorities are awaiting a medical report to ascertain whether the suspect is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease.

43 Comments for “Male Nurse In Boys’ School Gets ‘Treatment’ For Child Abuse”

  1. Plain Talking

    When I was going to school some 40 years ago sexually abusing young students by senior students and hostel masters were a well known secret of all leading colombo schools. Some perpetrators even counted their victims and boasted around and I remembered some celebrated when they hit the century mark. There were some rumers that it was happening in some temples too.

    It looks like things have chaged for good at least in this front!

    • Ruwan Ferdinandez

      It’s not Colombo alone, 20 years ago when I went to school, sexual abuse of young ones by senior students was rampant in schools in Badulla and Kandy. There are very senior managers in various sports in the country today, who were champion abusers those days. I remember my friend and I, rescuing a ftriend, who was dragged in to a senior students hostel one day. There are TV personalities, professional today, who were abused those days. I am not sure whether things have changed that much. Single-sex schools is a problem in the country!

    • Plain Talking

      Based on what do you say things have changed for good?
      Is it because happenings in the temples are not reported nowadays?

  2. Rambuttan

    Basically this fellow should be executed.

  3. I agree with Plain Talking and Ruwan. 40 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago and today sexual oppression was/is there and was/is realesed secrelty. Its like volcano, abuses are eruptions, deep down sex oppresions. They consider those things as rituals and part of integration. These things are happening because girls/women are not allowed to have sex before marriage and young boys becomes victims of mature men who are desperate for sex. Sri Lanka still continue oppress sex; porn ban, massage ban, arrest of lovers who walk hand-in-hand on street or park. The government has to respect and accept peoples need for sex. They want people to be priests and monks and to refrain from sex. Like Talibans. Dont oppress yoouths just for popularity among senior citizens. Respect democracy, freedom and rights of people, before another eruption youth oppression like in, 71,83, 89!

  4. achmed haroon

    I agree with Ruwan Fernandez”s views.It is accepted norm amongst students in most prestigeous schools of Colombo that this sort of behaviour prevails.But outsiders getting involved is a serious matter for concern.I recollect that during my time too, in a leading Colombo school that this practice prevailed for over a century and still does even today. But, thats all about your sextuality and adolosence.Many of whom hold top posts in govt and private sector today.(want any names?)Its the problem of single education.Need to change the education system and take a cue from International schools.God save SriLanka.

    • geraldine

      I think all males who are now older even if it happened 20 or 30 years ago, should come forth and GIVE THE NAMES of all these rotters and bring them to task, because by not giving their names, you are only harbouring them and the real problem will continue. The bigger the name the better it will be. Here in europe names are given as everyone must have read on the recent scandles that has rocked many a names. It is not a sin to come out with the names and let the country know and their families too.

  5. The Patriot

    This used to be a common episodes in college hostels. In 80s at Zahira college (Matale), a case of sexual abuse by a Teacher-warden was brought to the notice of the Principal. He was merely transferred to a rural school and NO other action was taken. After the Principal moved out to take ministrial post, this teacher came back to the same school.

  6. Plain Talking

    It was bit like ragging. Many who got abused end up abusing others when it was their turn. In 70s one of the leading schools head prefect lost his position as the victims mother accidently found what happened and complained to the principal. The head prefect was from a very respectable family and he ended up as a successful profesional later. It was like a badge of honour to abuse a young and unfortunately it was not considered as a bad act by the student population.

    Education and explanation of psycological trauma is the key to stop this cycle.

    Education of those things is the key to success.

  7. achmed haroon

    Ref to The Patriot, You can even now institute legal action even after so many years similar to the vatican issue.Therefore I presume you know the abused boy and the perpetrater why not take up the case?

    • The Patriot

      The Victim will be 40 years now! When the Teacher came back to school the Victim was in Grade 9. He used to confront the teacher and make explicit gestures pupblicly to remind him about the incident. The teacher used to avoide this student at all costs, sadly, the student left the school after O/Ls! At present, I dont know where this student is!

  8. Kadalay

    It is only the ones who get caught and exposed that come to the surface. The millions of events that go unnoticed will never be known.

  9. Nim

    I know those days some students were deliberately selectd to take to Diyatalawa in the school cadet platoon for to use for sexual purposes. . Currently I know there are people at minister level who were abused by the senior students when they were in hostels. Nothng to talk about what happen in temples and churches. Its our responsilblty who were the sex victims of yesteryears to stand and create free atmosphere for our grand children to live a beutiful life.

    • MP

      No wonder some present day mnisters were abused at their younger age. This may be one reason for their bahaviour now.

  10. Loku Banda

    Just imagine what the sickos must be up to in the Tamil refugee camps(there is no law or inquistion).

  11. ayya malli

    In most case the young boys also deliberately seek the attention of the good-looking seniors and have fights among theselves for favourite position in school. In my school there were bondings of this sort which were serious matters difficult for anyone to break. And so the story goes, on and on and every generation plays it the saaaammme.

    • Ruwan Ferdinandez

      Was it a school you went to? Please don’t go anywhere near little kids. When everybody esle sees otherwise and when it clearly is a problem, what you say has no value, just some weird imagination, more of a justification by a paedo-curious mind. One or two kids who may have trusted adults but abuse is what the article is about.

    • I Hussein

      Are you suggesting some kind of enchouragements?

      Ruwan – What the law say about paedophilia in SL? I mean the punishment?

  12. Ranarala

    Child sex abuse is very common among Catholic priests & Pope had to apologige publicly many times. It is not a new thing in St Thoms’s Guruthalawa. Only one case came to light

    • Len

      Yea right no Buddhist monk ever been caught for same acts.

    • I Hussein

      Ranarala – Lets keep a religion aside. Child sex is common among sick guys. Its a real mental problem. We must find proper way to handle this social problem. In our society talking about this in open is taboo, unlike europe. Severe punishment must be introduced.

  13. Ram

    For the rapid development of Sri Lanka, In addition to exporting Srilankan mothers as slaves to Saudi, we need to promote child sex and prostitution to western tourist. Police currently provide necessary protection to the child sex tourism industry in some beaches in the south. This need to be promoted island wide by the next amendment to the constitution!!

  14. drbdes

    sexual acts, use sex, abuse,and then criminal abuse[which is very difficult todefine,like Mervyn dosthoras excuse, he did not tie up the official, the poor soul just volunteeeered,
    and he likedsado masochistic acts of being ties to a tree by hora dosthara,
    for sexual gratification and a obsessive compulsive need]

    Cabbage students, were common anong catholic /christian schools, with special attention for favours, requested,granted,
    and then modified, as to thei ntent, when the tide changed.
    girls did the same in some cases,
    got what they wanted,and were not unwilling participants, in the sexual barter trade,

    the focus was shifted when some real dangerous pedoliles,
    were detected,
    but they operate with impunity,
    as there are many willing particiapnts, anddonor of their time, for sexual acts/barter.

    this will never end, it has been there from time immemorial,
    very prominent in uni sex hostels, parties, armed services, camps like with tamil terrorists,
    where all who got pregnant ,were martyred to be killed as heros,
    and the father was never detected,
    no DNA was done and compared with terrorist leaders,

    it wasa given, sex was a part of the sacrifice,
    in the terrorist dream,
    to enslave tamils,
    and slaves were always used freely, at will, by the slave masters/mistresses.
    even abuse of slaves/workers in Arab regions,
    isa part of this.
    too exasutive to go into details,
    within this, actual abuse occurs,
    but powerful people,
    find away to bypass this.

    sex is what humans are born for, how human growth is assured,
    and altered ways to benefit from sex or punish if benefits are not very rewarding,
    is a given too.

    it will happen.
    all segments oflife take part in this
    sometimes the cries are louder,
    but it never reduces the act, that is sexually driven,
    and is an integral part of human evolution, some of it gone wrong, or interpreted wrongly,
    punishing, killing, covering up, jailing ,etc never works,
    during confused time ,like tamil terrorism,
    it is so prevalent,
    and no action will betaken,
    as the perpetrators, will simply deny and kill the evidence[literally]
    and blame the lankans for their sick sexual appetite,
    covering under tami liberation, AKA libraation of some tamils
    to abuse he more enslaved.

    the Cabbages will have new names,
    some will be emotionally hurt,
    many escape unharmed,
    many change as sexual needs and desires ,change with time, age, hormonal changes and general attrition of sexual desire, ovaries, testis,
    and loss of libido, in most, with age and ith changes in time.

    for a while it will grab headlines,
    then die with gradual oblivion,
    and loss of interest,
    and the practice will go under ground
    or continue with less shouting from mountain tops,
    but go under ground, like the prostitution, of men and women, by men and women, homesexual acts for money,
    slaves for sex,
    forcing attention on subordinate Men and women by the powerful
    and also used to gain power and solicit favours.

    just look aroung ,it is every where,
    it drive societies, sexual drive, supercedes all other drives.

    • drbdes

      if you need expert advice on sex related matters, from senior psychiatrists, forensic psychatrists, refer them to the writer,
      can obtain from people with 40 to 50 yrs clinical and legal expertise.drbdes

  15. Cabbage

    Let’s cut the crap. In this merry isle, homosexuality, be it between schoolboys or men and boys, has always been rife and always will be. Girls and women are another species, hands-off for most young males. It happens big time in all boys schools. I had no problem with it. Nor do most. Boys will be boys and some boys will be girls. So just get real.

  16. Punchi banda

    dear friends,
    while talking about your friends who were abused ,legally you can still prosecute those culprits (abusers),who may be still free and living in sri lanka.
    This will deter present and future offenders.
    Those people should be banned working with children.

  17. Daya

    Isn’t it more than 18 months since the Education Ministry has asked the Management of this school to appoint a “Qualified Principal”. What has the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera done about it?

  18. jake

    This is a very common occurance in Sri Lankan schools. Older boys abuse younger kids. The teachers look the other way.

    • Dayaratne

      One can understand that. But should one allow teachers to have their way with dozens of little kids, and in pure abuse (depending on opportunity only) with no deeper relationship?

  19. Jehan Usman

    Two years ago one my cousin’s son refused to go to school becase of a teacher in a well known schools in Colombo. He missed his O/L that year and had to trasfer him to a school in Kandy.
    This is happening everywhere in every forms.

  20. Nimal Silva

    Even university professors in SL are guilty of seeking sexual favors from their female students in return for good grades… whats new?

  21. Daya

    Nimal Silva asks “What’s new?” Firstly, it is that women are now conscious of their rights and have become militant. Within the Anglican Church, as Richard Dawkins puts it, a priest needn’t have a penis to administer Holy Communion. Secondly, LGBT issues are now freely discussed and the “queers” of long ago demand equality. They are allowed to marry in many countries, but not in this “Miracle of Asia”. Thirdly, it is almost recognised that young children have the right to experiment with sexuality (please note that I said “almost”), but that adults have no business to fiddle with the genitals of kids. Fourthly, it is very new that a Bishop should surreptitiously appoint an unqualified “Principal” to a school when the parent school (I mean Mt. Lavinia) had suffered the ignominy of having to see the Supreme Court throw a “Principal-designate” (Eksith Fernando, who was to be termed “Warden”) out in to the cold. The judgement is on the Internet.
    Bishops must break the unjust laws of Caesar; but in this instance, what does Duleep de Chickera have to say in justification?

  22. Daya

    I wonder if we are now expected to forget this story? The latest position is that the case was called in the Magistrate’s Court of Welimada on October 11th, 2010. The students who are alleged to have been abused are now not willing to give evidence.

  23. Daya

    Thanks for publishing the update. Your newspaper is being harassed for exposing the faults of the political establishment.
    What has happened in this case is that the Anglican Establishment has done its duty by sacking the paedophile. But it doesn’t want the glare of publicity to show that the “Acting Headmaster” has been asked to go because he’s not qualified, that the school’s finances are in a parlous state, and more than all else that Duleep de Chickera has knowingly acted in clear violation of the law.
    Readers can easily check two things: firstly, the Supreme Court judgement which removed the similarly unqualified Eksith Fernando from S. Thomas’ Mt Lavinia (which is Governed by the same Board) eleven years ago. The judgement is on the Internet.
    Secondly, another unqualified head was appointed to an Anglican school, in the Kurunegala Diocese, after this illegal Billimoria appointment. I refer to Brigadier Udaya Ariyaratne of Trinity. But note that the Brigadier ALWAYS calls himself “Acting Principal” and enjoys no unusual perks.
    Note also that the “Acting Headmaster” always pretends he is “Headmaster”. The school is officially co-educational now with girls in the hostel, but the “Headmaster’s” daughter has been moved to Ladies’ College, Colombo 7, and the little son will be in the Mount Lavinia school by January 2011.
    Further, the tough and dirty work of rescuing the school forty-five months ago was accomplished by a Belgian Jew who has now “withdrawn” in disgust.
    The lesson to be learnt is that it is as perilous and futile to rock the religious establishment as to rock the political establishment.
    This branch of S.Thomas’ having attracted only gormless and ignorant parents, it is possible for the Anglican Establishment to play fast and loose with the lives of innocent children there.

  24. Daya

    Could you please edit out whatever you think is unsuitable in the comment I posted yesterday and publish the great many of important issues I have raised.

  25. Ran Banda

    My son had a big problem with this Male Nurse but I do not want my son to be taken to a law court as a witness.
    Can your newspaper help poor parents by telling us who owns this school? I have studied this situation for many months. This “Daya” man is the only person who knows the real situation. Please tell us what he is telling. I can see that yesterday he says “please print important issues”.
    We put children in this school because a good European was very interested and was the Headmaster for some time. Now we are told school belongs to rich men called Board of Governors in Colombo7, but they are not interested in our poor, innocent children.
    This Daya has said in September 6th that Education Department wants new Principal. Please tell us what he tells he wrote on October 19. If it is politically dangerous, please leave those things out, tell us what is important for us.
    This is a boarding school, but week-ends, no Headmaster, no teachers. Children not supervised. Other Saint Thomas schools not like this. They have important parents. We like your newspaper because it tells TRUTH.
    Please tell real situation that “Daya” is saying! Please help innocent children!!

  26. Daya

    Could you please let me know what it is that has to be “moderated” in the comment I posted on the 19th? It is totally factual.
    There was a parents’ meeting on the 17th Sept. 2010, but the “Headmaster” had set the agenda and nothing was discussed except academic work. And that had amounted to transferring blame – to teachers, and you’ve guessed it, to the hapless children themselves!
    Ran Banda’s comment above is clear evidence that parents are worried but dare not speak out since it will get taken out on the students.
    This Nurse business is only the tip of the iceberg !

  27. Daya

    Thank you, Editorial Team, for publishing my posts in full. I think it my duty to now give you, in as user-friendly a form as possible, the links to those primary sources, for information as to what has been going on in this remote hamlet of Uva.
    To properly understand the situation in the school readers may need to know that one totally dedicated Headmaster and his wife were gunned down in the early hours of a tragic day in 1989.
    Also, it is sad that there are really two factions of the OBA. The moderate and self-effacing group led by the late Mr Clifford Ratwatte was unceremoniously thrown out about 7 years ago.
    Eksith Fernando V. Manawadu And Others (St. Thomas’ College Cases)

  28. Ran Banda

    Thank you, Sunday Leader, and thank you Mr Daya. I am reading this now for three hours. I am sad and angry, but it is good for parents to now know the truth.

    Some things I don’t understand yet. Who is the real owner of the school? Also, I do not understand Latin and French languages that Supreme Court judges are using. But I can see that Bishop has not told European Saint all the plans he was having . Now we can understand many things that were puzzling us.

    Is this semi-government school. We must study all these interview, life of Mr Jacques and Supreme Court Judge Dheeratne judgement.

    Sunday Leader, you are the only paper telling us these things. Thank you.

  29. Sunil de Silva

    Some of us Old Boys of this school made tremendous efforts to pull it round about four years ago, and I thought we had, by and large, succeeded. This has always been a wonderful school and has much to contribute to our society.

    The school was in a sorry state four years ago, and when this “European” took over we were full of hope, and I personally persuaded nine parents to send in their children (11 in all), to the school. Recently, one of them, (who has called himself ‘Ran Banda’) has drawn my attention to this news item. I had been following the fortunes of the school through the 62 Group website and had felt we were doing quite well. I have visited the school twice during this period.

    What I have now read between the lines of this report, and the comments it has attracted, makes me realise why Mr Jack Hubert (the good “foreigner” is said to like to have his name simplified in this way!) is so reticent when asked about his now seeming indifference to this school for which he did so much.

    Yours seems to be the only news paper that has given constructive coverage to what happens in this unique school. It is to be hoped that you continue to lend support to the parents, like my friend “Mr Ran Banda” who are concerned about their children.

    The story, as you have so far unfolded it, is shocking but it hardly surprises us. We have always refused to believe in full all the stories that we had been told about the indifference, and worse, of the Board of Governors – or rather its functioning. For instance, we had dismissed as gross exaggeration what Dr Rajiva Wijesinghe (now a Member of Parliament) told us almost thirty years ago. We now see that this may not have been the case.

    Dear Editor, you must necessarily balance the temporary damage that disclosures about the seemingly irresponsible hehaviour of the Board will bring the school, with the long term benefits that must necessarily flow from allowing the truth to be known. So, please give us updates on this story.

    What shocks me most is that the Board appears to be flouting with impunity the lessons that ought to have been learnt from the from the “Eksith Fernando case” which received so much publicity about ten years ago.

    May your newspaper, committed as it is to reveal the truth at all times, prosper despite all the obstacles that ae being put in its path!

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