(AsiaNews) - A 13-year-old Catholic student, Amila Tharanga, was assaulted by
his teacher because he could not name the Buddha's parents. The incident
occurred on 11 June at the Mahanama College Getambe in Kandy (Central
Province), but it took sometime before the boy told his parents. Although the
attack was reported to police, no arrest warrant was issued. Amila was wounded to
an ear during the attack, but the injury is not permanent.
the Buddhist monk came into the classroom to teach the Buddhism course, Amila
went to seat in the back," Fr Nandana Manatunga, director of the Human Rights Office
in Kandy, told AsiaNews. "However,
the teacher forced the boy to sit in the front row and began asking him
questions. The latter told him that he was Catholic. At that point, the monk said,
'Even if you are Catholic, you should know Buddhism,' and then proceeded to beat
him, causing his left ear to bleed."
the boy's condition, no one in the school tried to treat his wounds. The monk
and another teacher warned him not to mention the incident.
his brother Gashan, who attends the same school, found out, he went immediately
to Amila's classroom, but was himself threatened by the monk.
he arrived home, the 13-year-old was scared and went to bed because of the pain
in his ear, without saying a word," the clergyman said. "When he started to
throw up, his father P.G. Tilakaratne began asking him about what had happened,
until Amila told him everything."
next morning, the parents brought the boy to the Kandy General Hospital, where
he was treated immediately. On 13 June, his father went to a local police
station to report the incident.
Mahanama College Getambe is a Buddhist school with many Christian students. Under
the rules of the Education Department, students can study their own religion
even if they do not practice the school's main religion. However, in this
particular school, this right has not been enforced, and teachers are known to
punish students, even physically.