I have been a teacher for over 50 years and a Principal for at least 30. During that time hundreds of students have passed through my hands and have touched my life in one way or another.
I cannot truthfully say that I can remember all of them. ( And is there anyone in his right mind who would expect me to?) But through the years, in the minds and hearts of their teachers, many children stand out. There are many reasons for them to be unforgettable characters; sometimes because they were very naughty. Such kids can be most endearing and we recall them with laughter. Others may have been brilliantly clever and we recall them with respect; specially if they were smart enough to stand out among other clever brains. Or they could have been fine sportsmen. I recall some others forming part of the cheering squad during outstanding victories by the school. Whatever the reasons may be, teachers can always recall the ones who were special to them for diverse reasons.
And I certainly remember Mohammed Kamer Nizamdeen who has recently been accused of being a possible terrorist in Australia. It is something I not only do not believe in, but also it is something I will continue to disbelieve until (if ever) it has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt that this exceptional boy is guilty of, someday.
Kamer came to AIS for the final 2 years of schooling in order to do his London A Level exam. He came from one of Colombo’s best known and most prestigious boys’ schools where he had achieved excellent results at the Ordinary Level Exam. Many students enter international schools to do their Advanced Level Exam and most of them do well. But Kamer immediately became one of the most popular boys in his class for the very simple reason that his main attribute was niceness. This is an overworked adjective, but one that describes Kamer perfectly. He was a gentle, charming and yes, a nice boy in every way.
His unfailing courtesy to teachers and to his classmates was noticed from the start. Teachers who taught him were always full of praise for his work ethic and his general thorough approach to studies. His teachers have kept in touch with him after he left us ( gaining 3 As I might add) and entered the University of Melbourne.
Kamer was an IT genius and did outstandingly well at Uni. He was known as the ‘Poster Boy” at his Uni. where, I believe, he was used for various advertisements by the authorities. Because yes! He was also handsome. ‘So unfair’ his peers may have thought. He had it all!
The news of his arrest sent shock waves through a vast number of people. His parents of course were used to him being the ideal child; to his brother to whom he was an icon, to his teachers of both his schools, his classmates, his friends, his relatives and, of course, myself.
It is an accusation that will not be acceptable to most of us and if indeed he is the victim of jealousy and vindictiveness we all hope the perpetrator of such an act does not go unpunished.
Kamer came to AIS for the final 2 years of schooling in order to do his London A Level exam. He came from one of Colombo’s best known and most prestigious boys’ schools where he had achieved excellent results at the Ordinary Level Exam.
Envy is one of Sri Lanka’s worst national traits. It is characteristic of an island mentality say some psychologists. I am no psychologist myself, but long experience has taught me a fair amount of discernment. Kamer was gentle, sweet natured and comfortable with himself. He had no hang-ups.
He had a happy home and projected an aura of personal calmness and self control. Perhaps he was too successful at what he did and that upset his contemporaries!
That this young man could have become ‘radicalised’ is impossible to accept. He was the ideal Muslim, but his religion was personally felt and not publicly shown.
Kamer was a quietly poised and a successful person. He has remained so right up to this moment. I believe he is in a PH.D programme, something which we all expected of him. He had absolutely no reason to become a radical or fanatic Muslim and it will take irrefutable evidence to get any of us to believe in these charges levelled against him.
Hussain Saturday, 8 September 2018 21:56
Should we not leave this to the very efficient Australian legal system? So all these unwanted comments in this paper are moot.
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ZAINAB Sunday, 9 September 2018 19:26
I live in Melbourne .Yes Australia does have a good and Uncorrupt judicial system with barristers who are the best in what they do.I belong to the Moor community as well from Colombo and am shocked that a young boy from my own community has been accused of this heinous act of plotting a Terrorist attack on Australian soil.It is quite disturbing to us as a community who have been living here for over 20 years escaping our own civil war with the Tamil Tigers. I do hope he is found to be innocent since no innocent Australians too deserve to be the victims of terrorism.We have moved away from Sri Lanka with our own children when they were very young and do not want to witness any Terror attack ob Australian soil.
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