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October 17, 2002

Rs. one million sought : Pupil sues teacher for damaging eardrum

From: Daily News, Sri Lanka
Oct. 17, 2002

by Kumar Wethasinghe

A fundamental rights plea was filed on behalf of an 11-year-school-girl, seeking Rs. one million compensation against a schoolteacher in Matugama for allegedly subjecting the child to severe corporal punishment.

The petitioners Lahiru Sankalpa Samarasinghe, and her grandmother Rosalin Munasinghe, submitted that the class teacher had a deep seated grudge for reasons unknown to them. The pupil had to pay the price of becoming permanently deaf from a ruptured eardrum.

The petitioners cited K. D. Sarath Jayatilaka (class teacher), T. D. K. Sumanawathi (Assistant Principal), the Principal of Adhikaram Vidyalaya Matugama and the Provincial Director of Education as respondents.

According to the petition, Lahiru has no parental support and is in the custody of her grandmother Rosalin. On or around September 10, 2002, she returned home from school, crying that her teacher slapped her, for leaving the class to answer a call of nature.

The grandmother noticing the bleeding from the child's ear had rushed her to the Wettawe Government hospital.

The hospital had declined to treat the child since her elders wanted the matter reported to police.

Thereafter they lodged an entry at the Matugama police, where they were asked to sign a statement without explaining.

However late evening they had taken the child to Nagoda hospital. Few days later it had been diagnosed that the child's eardrum had been ruptured due to the teacher's assault.

Hemantha Situge instructed by K. R. Kathaluwa Patabendige settled the application.

Copyright 2001 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.