NCPA employees union claims: Protector of children employing abuser EANCPA urges Govt to put in place a Child Protection System

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By 2018-01-17

By Shaahidah Riza

An official of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is presently facing allegations of child abuse and is still employed by the NCPA, alleged the Employees Association of the NCPA (EANCPA).

Speaking to Ceylon Today, Media Secretary of the EANCPA, Pradesh Coswatte added that the NCPA had not yet taken any action with regard to the individual who is presently facing allegations.

"In 2016, the NCPA organized a debate contest with schoolchildren. Whilst the alleged individual was involved in the organizing activities, this allegation emerged. A child who was involved in the competition was the victim of abuse. Contravening his mandate, which is to protect children, he instead decided to lure the child to commit the abuse. The Police investigation report, endorsed by a former Deputy Inspector General of Police indicates that the suspect had attempted to abuse the child. It also indicates that the suspect had misused the office phone, and had also erased data from the said phone to mislead the investigators. However, this official is presently engaged with the NCPA and no disciplinary action has yet been taken against him and nor has he been suspended," he said.

The EANCPA is concerned about the inaction of the NCPA, and insist that necessary action must be taken against the suspect, he said, and added that they cannot work with the incumbent Chairperson of the NCPA, Attorney-At-Law (AAL) Marini de Livera. The fundamental reason for such incidents to take place is that Sri Lanka lacks a Child Protection System, he noted.

"Several institutions have been created, be it the Department of Probation and Child Care or the NCPA. Even though there are isolated institutions, there is no holistic child protection system. We also request the Government to establish a child protection system," he said.

When Ceylon Today contacted de Livera, we were informed that she was overseas. When the direct line of the NCPA was reached, a representative declined to comment on these allegations and added that de Livera should be contacted for a response.
Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekera and former Police Spokesman Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Priyantha Jayakody, the latter who had conducted the investigation into the case, were unavailable for comment.

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