Schoolgirl’s plight puts authorities in a spot

9 February 2013 02:31 am - 45     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalini De Silva yesterday faulted the police and the acting Magistrate with regard to the unfortunate incident where a 13-year-old schoolgirl was produced in court by the Horana Police on charges of having stolen eight coconuts.

The teenager was later granted bail on a Rs.50,000 surety

Ms. De Silva said that in the first place the girl should have been referred to the Mediation Board instead of being produced in Court.

“The law says that if the accused is a minor (aged 18 or less) and the case productions is worth Rs.5,000 or less, the matter should have necessarily be referred to the Mediation Board and this has not happened here which is unfair to the girl,” she said.It was alleged that the girl had stolen the coconuts to find the Rs.800 asked for by her school authorities to colour wash the classroom. She had done so as her parents were poor and unable to find the money.
Ms. De Silva said the Mediation Board Act was amended about two years ago to include this clause and it appears that the Police and the Magistrate might have been unaware about this amendment.  

“However, the Police have been educated on the matter and it was sad that the girl was produced in courts and released on bail,” Ms. De Silva said.

Meanwhile, police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said according to section 367 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the case could not be referred to the Mediation Board as the girl had committed an offence for which police bail could not be given.

Mr. Jayakody blamed the media for giving “out of proportion publicity” to the incident.

Meanwhile, government media spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the case was discussed in the cabinet on Thursday and President Rajapaksa instructed Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana to conduct an inquiry.The minister said the teachers and the principals cannot ask students to pay for painting classrooms.

“We cannot take action against school authorities as it is a matter dealt by the Public Service Commission (PSC). There are instances where the PSC crosses our path when we attempt to take disciplinary action against errant public servants,” the minister said.

He the President had directed that justice be done to the girl.( Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 45

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  • Ranabahu Saturday, 09 February 2013 08:46 AM

    THE MEDIA HAS DONE THE CORRECT THING BY EXPOSING PISSU POLICE OF HORANA POLICE STATION . RAPING A WOMEN IS A LESS PUNISHABLE ACT THAN STEALING A COCONUT IN SRI LANKA. RAPING BAIL-OUT 10,000 /-AND STEALING COCONUT 50,000/ ME RATE MINISSU THANIKARA KELINNE PISSU. JAYAWEWA

    jagath Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:30 PM

    this is the real mirror image of the justice we have in our country if you had stolen bilions you would not be punnished but be rewarded

    anekale Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:43 PM

    drug dealing,extortion,rape are norm but stealing sacred nuts is a crime in this wonderland.

    Ali.sm Saturday, 09 February 2013 09:02 AM

    What a great justice was done to this poor 13 years for stealing 8 cocoanuts. It's not at all a big punishable crime. Murders can walk freely. Looters can enjoy. Sex offenders can find more girls to assault. People who create problems among the communities can be masters. what wonder of Asia

    Sanjay Fernando Saturday, 09 February 2013 09:11 AM

    Children stealing coconuts cannot transfer police or bribe them

    ANTON Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:09 AM

    Seems police have stolen the other two coconuts.

    Kodithuwakkuarachchi Saturday, 09 February 2013 09:16 AM

    This is enough proof that Sri Lankan judiciary has gone nuts.

    Banda Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:15 AM

    Chinese prostitutes were fined RS.10 by the courts, poor student released on on RS.50,000 bail "WONFDER OF ASIA "

    sri lankan Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:20 AM

    Aaasiyawe Aaashcharya !!!!Sub Anagathayak !!!

    weha Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:23 AM

    What should be highlighted here is the plight of the majority of people in this country, the contrast between the actions the law enforcement would take when it comes to a normal person and a politician.
    Don't make it a blame game. From top to bottom all are at fault. saw minister telling that because of the high population we have to entertain so many puppets. that shows that no one really cares for the common man although they pretend to do so.

    Rushan Hameed Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalini De Silva - Well said. via DM Android App

    DN Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:35 AM

    Jayakody's blaming the media for giving “out of proportion publicity” to the incident is a shame. If the media is not there today she may be in jail. Police please correct your faults , without passing it to media.

    Nate Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    Children who steal coconuts are prosecuted. Cold blooded murderers walk scot free. via DM Android App

    Saliya Wickremasuriya Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    The innocent girl does deserve presidential pardon, and have her name cleared. In a country where lawlessness prevails the police should have used common sense. It's ridiculous that criminals are set free, whereas the helpless and voiceless like this girl are "psychologically, emotionally and socially beheaded." via DM Android App

    nihal Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:59 AM

    what a statement - you gave excellent respond!!

    Citizen Perera Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:01 AM

    Law enforcement institutions are passing the ball to the other side....there have been more serious criminal incidents taken place but accused are being roaming unopposed.

    weha Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:10 AM

    "police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said according to section 367 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the case could not be referred to the Mediation Board as the girl had committed an offence for which police bail could not be given"

    Dear Spokesman, since you are so in to working according to the book, can you point to us which sections grant permission to all those big wigs and their children to commit any crime and get away?
    You are a lion in front of the helpless but a puppy in front of the powerful.

    Publik Abilik Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    smaller the fish bigger the punishment, larger the criminal, greater the chances of walking around unpunished and with impunity. via DM Android App

    aheu Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:20 AM

    out of proportion publicity ?? These are cases that need publicity!!! Not racist stuff!!

    chandler` Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:24 AM

    Does anyone in Police or Judicial service know the law. Looks like not.

    resplendant Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:32 AM

    To be fair, the Rs 10 fine for prostitution is the result of an old law dating back a long way and has nothing to do with the current admin.

    Jaya Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:37 AM

    I never thought I see a day where people will agree on something unanimously. So far no negative comments. Glad to see this. Boooo to the authorities who can't see things clearly

    kandykolla Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:49 AM

    Our policemen are very good in catching these kind of crimes !!!

    Kiki Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:12 AM

    They shouldn’t have showed the girl on TV

    An Opinion Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:27 AM

    Agree with Jayakody when he said media gave “out of proportion publicity” to the incident. Mass Media, Ministry Secretary Kamalini and everyone else as a matter of fact should understand that bringing discredit and embarrassment to this Govt. directly or indirectly is skating on this ice. So please get on with your jobs, without being too smart.

    Fox 01 Monday, 11 February 2013 06:20 AM

    "principals cannot ask students to pay for painting classrooms"
    Bandula, why don't you interdict or sack this "principal"

    new guy Monday, 11 February 2013 06:31 AM

    truth is the government cant afford to do all the stuffs in a school. even its free education. even we payed some money for various stuff.like trips,paintings etc.
    some cant afford to do that.they sud be given some time to pay
    and some cant even do that.they should be released from all the extra expenses.
    i think if the government banned collecting money,they shud provide all the extra money by themselves,which they cant seems to do.

    gOBBAYA Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:08 PM

    This is sri lanka my freind.

    edward Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:17 PM

    How come "The teenager was later granted bail on a Rs.50,000 surety" cannot do so if she talk this

    Shan Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:24 PM

    Most corrupted department in the country is Police Department. How can they have common sense when their 5 senses are also not properly functionning.

    Shan Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:26 PM

    If it is old law, repeal it and throw it to the dust bin.

    S.Sriranjan Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:40 PM

    Remember the Oldtime Stories of King and Ministers?

    HKS Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:50 PM

    NOTHING HAS HAPPENED TO THE TOP POLITICO WHO HAS DUMPED A SHIPLOAD OF BAD COCONUT IN TO THE SEA!!!

    leelpil Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:54 PM

    8 පාස් පොලිස් කාරයො

    Amit Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:56 PM

    Show how intelligent you are. DailyMirror regualtes what comments are published. What you "see for the first time" is based entirely on the DM admins and their editorial policy.

    Jayasekara Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:53 PM

    There is a bigger issue of financial management in schools, rural urban, private, public or even internal what happens to the money collected if parent question their children will be victimized
    Take this situation even if there is only 100 student total collection would be 80,000 this to paint does not the sate allocate funds for building maintenance
    Education department and Audit department should formulate accounting for every cent collected for any topic
    Let take the suffering of this child to help all the children of this country

    Man Saturday, 09 February 2013 02:57 PM

    change the law dear.. law is only for children in sri lanka???
    What a country.. All human beings must boycott this country ...

    leelpil Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:02 PM

    Classic example that proves these guys do not have common sense.

    Saliya Wickremasuriya Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    It's not the media but the stupid police that is responsible. Thanks to media there's hope that the girl be served with "true justice. " via DM Android App

    Tony Montana Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:54 PM

    If they have bribe the cop they will let her go poor girl.

    prasanna Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:07 PM

    this is reality in sri lanka how people surfer...

    nilantha Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:00 AM

    we were crying a month back for the rizzana saga.also she been a minor.what are we doing in SL now? via DM Android App

    Ami Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:24 PM

    That's wat they've been doing until now ! But the tide is changing !

    Gemini Saturday, 09 February 2013 04:35 PM

    Principal was collecting money from poor kids as instructed by the chief minister(CM) of the western province.According to CM,This girl was exempted from it. because she is poorest among the poor.But, principal says that they did not collect money.He labelled her as a thief.They all are trying to fabricate stories and put blame on the girl.What a country.

    KD Saturday, 09 February 2013 08:13 AM

    Media should be more active in highlighting these type of nonsense. At the end of the day its useless finger pointing Kamalini or Jayakody they are all part of the same machinery that failed on this poor girl. Both should accept the blame and make sure it doesn't happen again. As for the media... please bring out the corrupt cops and officials to the fro.


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