Children’s homes in the east
We welcome the attempts being made for the renaissance of the East. Many do not realise that this Province, has more than other Provinces, experienced various kinds of disasters, natural and otherwise. It is now struggling to get back on its feet. A disturbing letter has been received ordering all Managers of Children’s Homes IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE, to SUSPEND ALL ADMISSIONS.
This has been signed by the Commissioner of the DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION AND CHILD CARE SERVICES, N. P. K. NELUMDENIYA.
One can understand if this was in view of the escalation of living costs and the inability of these institutions to cope with further admissions. But that is not the case, and officials involved, must first investigate whether detractors of the Government, are forcing such decisions in order to prejudice the people in the East against the Government.
The resettlement of thousands of people, inclusive of children uprooted from their dwellings and living in homeless desolation has not been fully solved.
Before I joined the Teaching profession, applied and was selected as a Probation Officer in one of the first batches, where a foreign expert in the field of Probation and Child Care, one Mr. G. F. Hamelin was got down with his expertise to train us in this field.
While this department seems to be working well, there have been complaints made to the Batticaloa Vigilance Committee of some officers, trying to dictate which homes the child should be admitted to and to which homes they the parents must not admit the child, on what seems to be on narrow racial and religious lines. On the slightest complaint of fraud, or discrimination taking place in any Home, these should be investigated & action taken. Apart from the East being involved for years in destructive militancy, major Natural disasters such as repeated cyclones, and frequent communal violence involving all the three major communities had laid it low, not to mention the major breaching of its major tank, the Unnichai Tank, causing irreparable.
Under these circumstances, let not the East continue to receive step-motherly treatment.
Vigilance Committee Batticaloa.