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    » 12/15/2011, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Sr. Eliza, the sister of Mother Teresa accused of "selling children", exonerated

    Melani Manel Perera

    No illegal activity in the shelter for unmarried mothers run by the Missionaries of Charity. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), chiefly responsible for the arrest of religious, must return records and documents to the orphanage.
    Colombo (AsiaNews) - This morning, magistrate Yvonne Fernando acquitted Sr. Mary Eliza, of the Missionaries of Charity, of the charge of illegal adoptions. The sister had been arrested on the accusation of "selling children” in the shelter (Prem Nivas) for mothers of girls in Rawathawatte (Moratuwa, Colombo), operated by the Sisters of Mother Teresa. The magistrate also "recommended" the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) – at the origin of the charges against the sisters - to manage any future investigation more carefully. Additionally, the NCPA must return all documentation taken from the shelter with the arrest of Sister Eliza to the Missionaries’ orphanage. The prosecutor Neville Abeyratne said that the NCPA acted "irresponsibly" and has tarnished the transparent image of the Sisters of Mother Teresa, who have always served Sri Lankan society.

    At the instance of an anonymous phone call on November 23 last a group of people led by Anoma Dissanayake, President of the NCPA, surrounded and raided the Missionaries’ shelter, where the girls present were questioned and documents and records taken from the house. On 25 November, Sister Eliza was arrest, then released on bail on November 29.

    According to Sr. Bernadette Fernando, executive secretary of the Conference of Major Superiors in Sri Lanka, the investigations conducted by the investigators have shown that there was no illegal activity in Prem Nivas and that the children present there have always been adopted in accordance with the laws of the State. In particular, the allegations revolved around the cases of three young girls: one was brought by police after being raped by a cousin, and the second was sent by the Probation Office (a national organization that responds to the Ministry of Social Affairs); the third is a victim of the tsunami, without any family in the world.

    Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, had announced complete halt to all institutional commitments until the allegations were withdrawn.
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    See also

    29/11/2011 SRI LANKA
    Released, but awaiting trial, the sister of Mother Teresa who "sold children"
    Sister Eliza, Missionary of Charity, had to change convent, hand over her passport and is prohibited from leaving the country. An anonymous phone call accuses the religious of illicit trafficking of children in their hostel for unmarried mothers.

    01/12/2011 SRI LANKA
    First hearing for Missionary of Charity charged with “selling children” postponed
    Trial will open on December 15. Police ask for time for further investigation. Much criticism from the Catholic world on Church silence. Some fear that there is an attempt to encourage Buddhist orphanages behind the charge.

    03/01/2005 SRI LANKA
    Government and press against orphan trafficking
    Greatest threat to recovery is international aid that does not focus on human needs, says Jesuit missioner.

    07/01/2005 SRI LANKA
    Adoption ban in Sri Lanka
    A spokesman for the Prime Minister and the head of National Child Protection Authority say that abductions are rising. Pressure is mounting on Indian government to ban tsunami orphan adoptions.

    09/03/2010 SRI LANKA
    At the Shrine of Our Lady of Tewatta 4 thousand young people pary for their vocation
    Under the title "Here am I. Send me," the Archdiocese of Colombo celebrates Children's Day. An 'opportunity for children and young people to begin their vocational journey. Archbishop of Colombo: We have different talents, qualities and weaknesses, but above all we are precious and unique to the Lord. He calls us to his mission for this uniqueness.



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