Ambassador forces himself on Sri Lankan school in Qatar

Ambassador forces himself on Sri Lankan school in Qatar

Written by Staff Writer

21 Oct, 2018 | 12:13 am

Colombo (News1st): Sri Lankan residents of Qatar state the present Sri Lankan ambassador to Qatar, A.S.P. Liyanage has caused many inconveniences to the operations of the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha.

The most recent incident came when two teachers and the librarian of the school were expelled through the orders of the ambassador.

Nearly 130,000 Sri Lankans are currently residing in Qatar and the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha is the only school in Qatar established for Sri Lankan students. There is no official link between the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha and the Stafford International School in Colombo.

Founder of the Stafford Sri Lanka School of Doha, Kumudu Fonseka said after the ambassador was appointed, a significant change in the school’s money reserves which once stood at more than Rs. 7 million could be seen. He added that the ambassador in question has asked Fonseka to restructure the current board to comprise of him and the Ambassador only.

When Fonseka rejected this saying it is not possible, the ambassador has replied stating “see what I will do”, subsequently, they have arrived in the premises by force and had taken the school keys from him.

In this backdrop, the founder and chairman of the Doha school, Kumudu Fonseka, the board of directors and the school principal were removed from their respective positions and replaced with individuals appointed by A.S.P.Liyanage. It is evident that these actions are not fit for an Ambassador representing our country.

Former Principal of the school Upali Jayasinghe states that he was kidnapped and was taken directly to the Qatar embassy, where the ambassador A.S.P.Liyanage threatened him in front of a large crowd. He added that the ambassador forced him to sign a letter of resignation, which he did not sign. Upali Jayasinghe states that the ambassador has taken control of the school by force.

The Sri Lankan ambassador has also expelled two teachers and the librarian of the school. The teachers state the reason was a rugby match that took place in Qatar. They said a group of Sri Lankans had hooted at the ambassador during this event. The Ambassador then had harassed the teachers both verbally and sexually and had ordered them to to be removed from their positions.

However, they state that they do not accept their dismissals. The dismissed teachers made several complaints to the police but, on the 14th of October, the Qatar police had taken the two teachers and the librarian into custody, under the instructions of the Ambassador.

While one teacher was released on the 15th of October, the other was released on the following day. The teachers and the librarian were also informed by the government of Qatar, that their resident visa was cancelled by the government.

Though many attempts were made to contact the ambassador A.S.P.Liyanage, these efforts were futile.

What will be the future of the teachers who have faced injustice at the hands of A.S.P.Liyanage?

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