Stafford School taken over for Rs. 400 mn arbitrarily | Daily News


Former Qatar Ambassador Liyanage found wanting

Stafford School taken over for Rs. 400 mn arbitrarily

The involvement of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has become vital in rectifying the crime committed by Qatar's former Ambassador A.S.P. Liyanage forcibly taking over the Stafford Sri Lankan School of Doha Qatar (SSLSD) for Rs. 400 million in 2018.

This was stressed by a group of individuals headed by the founder of the SSLSD Kumudu Fonseka during a press conference held in Colombo on Friday.

The SSLSD inaugurated with the donations made by a group of Sri Lankan in 2001 and running as a non-profit organization had been forcibly taken over by the then Ambassador Liyanage under the auspices of former head of state Maithripala Sirisena in July 2018.

As cited by Fonseka, the purpose of the acquisition has been to misappropriate Rs. 400 million owned by the school by the time. Fonseka said he had written to the newly elected President Rajapaksa on this matter seeking a solution and they are hopeful of a positive reply. According to him, continuous requests made to Rajapaksa’s predecessor had become useless.

“We requested Rajapaksa to rectify this shameful action by then head of mission with the auspices of the then head of the government. We are sad to say that all the discussions we had with former President Sirisena with regard to this matter became useless and he never took action against this issue”, he said.

Upali Jayasinghe, who was the Principal of the school by the time of acquisition speaking on this occasion, said ex-president Sirisena is completely responsible for the arbitrary behaviour of then Ambassador in forcibly taking over the school.“Though President Sirisena was the only person with powers to solve this matter, under the good governance he did not take any action on this matter,” Jayasinghe said.

As Jayasinghe pointed out, after he was expelled from the position of principal, no appointment has been made so far to fill that vacancy. “An Ambassador ruling a school is a problem”, Jayasinghe said.

He also made three requests to the present government with regard to this issue, which include giving back the management of the school to them, restating the expelled staff in their previous position and conducting investigations to prevent recurrence of incidents in this type.

SSLSD founder Kumudu Fonseka. Picture by Sudath Malaweera.

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