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Uva Chief Minister appears before HRC

Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake

Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake appeared before the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Colombo for two hours on Thursday, Commission spokesperson Saliya Peiris said.

Chief Minister Dassanayake is alleged to have made the Principal of a Tamil girls’ school kneel in front of him after she did not enroll a student he had recommended.

“He appeared before the investigation officers, and made a statement,” Peiris said.

He said he could not discuss the contents of the statement until the final report was finished.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Chief Minister Dassanayake said the story had been “twisted” by “Colombo journalists.”

He said he was only trying to help a Muslim girl get into the school where here sisters already attended.

“I was trying to do justice for that child,” he said. He did not deny making the principal kneel.

The Commission had previously the summoned educational authorities from Uva, as well as the school principal, to make statements. They also summoned a Badulla police inspector on Thursday.

Peiris said the investigators are trying to conclude their inquiry “as early as possible,” and then submit it to the Human Rights Commission for a recommendation. Dassanayake is the first Chief Minister to be summoned for an investigation by the Human Rights Commission, according to the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections.

The Chief Minister had arrived at the commission with two lawyers, according informed sources​. The Commission has also taken down statements from Principal and officials from the Ministry of Education.

Sources also informed that they would be recalled if the need arose.

Meanwhile, Badulla Police HQI- E.M.T.P.V.Tennakoon was summoned to the Human Rights Commission yesterday in order to record a statement in connection with the the incident where the Principal of the Badulla Tamil Balika Vidyalaya was made to kneel before the Uva Province Chief Minister recently.

It is said that it was this police officer who had referred the principal for psychiatric evaluation.