NPCA ordered to submit report to Court on Jan 15

* Children’s Home Probe

By Jayantha de Silva

Colombo Additional Magistrate Yvonne Fernando yesterday ordered the National Probation and Childcare Authority (NPCA) to submit a report, on January 15, on the progress of investigations into the allegations of child trading levelled against the Moratuwa Rawathawatte

‘Prem Children’s Home’.

The magistrate also prohibited inmates from being given for adoption to foreigners.

Acting on a complaint that child inmates of the home are sold to outsiders, the NCPA recently conducted a raid on the children’s home and took into custody a warden nun named Mariam Anna Lakra. She was later enlarged on bail.

Juvenile females in addition to an unmarried young woman were taken into custody, IP Sheila Attanayake of the NCPA told Court.

She pointed out that both juvenile and adult expectant mothers were kept together.

Furthermore the statements of a German couple had also being recorded.

A woman named Jayalakshmi, a single a mother and resident from Bagalawatthe, had complained that she had arranged to sell her new born infant with the connivance of the warden to an Indian couple.

The complainant alleged that she had initially received Rs. 50,000.

The magistrate, taking into consideration an application by Attorney-at-Law Neville Abeyrartne, appearing for the warden to order the media to refrain from publishing false news items pertaining to the children’s home, directed the media to be very careful when publishing articles on the issue.

The counsel emphasized that adverse publicity by the print media had resulted in expectant, unmarried women being maltreated and on some occasions refused treatment by physicians.

This has affected the suspect.

He added that the home is a refuge for expectant single women arriving at the air port from Middle East.

He focused on a juvenile female inmate of the home coming under the 2005 Special Tsunami Act.

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