By Wilson Gnanadass
14 year old mother from Pussallawa has sought advice from a
professional organisation based in Colombo inquiring how she
could insert her childís fatherís name in the birth certificate
of the child she gave birth to illegitimately.
In a letter addressed to Protecting Environment and Children
Everywhere (PEACE) that looks after the best interest of such
cases, the teenaged mother has indicated her fragile situation.
In the letter, she has stated that she was abused by a 28 year
old man and now she is in a quandary as to how she could face
The under-aged mother Kanthi (real name withheld for legal
purpose) is the eldest of three in a family.
Her father has been in the sick bed for several years and this
prompted her mother to migrate to the Middle East to meet the
Kanthi and her two younger sisters have been studying at a
school in Delumtalamada with the money sent to them by their
Kanthi, out of the three, has been able to excel in her studies.
Realising the hardship her mother was going through after
marrying her bedridden father, Kanthi decided to study well and
get through her Advanced Level examination. But her dreams were
She never even imagined that she will have to carry a baby and
become one of the youngest mothers in the world, through no
fault of her own.
She never had any love affairs or had any desire for them. Her
ambition has always been to raise her family to the top with the
financial assistance her mother was offering.
She also realised the hardship and the harassment her mother was
going through working as a housemaid just to salvage the sinking
In the absence of her mother, she has been virtually looking
into the family chores. On the one hand, feeding her little
sisters and on the other, nursing her ailing father.
The 28 year old alleged abuser Ruwan (not his real name), who
has been working in a small grocery shop in the same vicinity
has been observing the movements of Kanthi and her ability to
run a family efficiently without male support.
For Ruwan, Kanthi was an inspiration. He not only admired her
for her bravery but also regarded her as a sex object and
decided to quench his sexual thirst through physical contacts.
He never realised that his action would cause Kanthi everlasting
pain and stigma, and that she would be forced to live with it
for the rest of her life.
For Ruwan, approaching Kanthi was an easy task especially with
the help of his step-mother who, the police say, has played a
major role in motivating Ruwan to rape innocent Kanthi.
According to informed sources, Ruwan had taken Kanthi to his
step-motherís house one day and raped her.
Kanthi soon realised she was pregnant yet did not want to abort
the child she was carrying. She decided to face reality and take
up the challenge of bringing up her child without male support.
However, when she had to obtain a birth certificate for the
child, she was confronted with the problem of inserting the
childís fatherís name as this child she bore was illegitimate.
When she contacted PEACE, the organisation in turn had consulted
the Attorney General for his advice.
The AG had suggested that Kanthi should inform the Court and let
the Court decide on it.
Accordingly, Kanthi filed a case before a Magistrateís Court and
the Magistrate has summoned Kanthi on May 30, to give the final
Ruwan was arrested by the police but given bail. The police now
is on a witch hunt to apprehend Ruwanís step-mother, but
informed sources said she had fled the country and gone to the
Meanwhile, Kanthiís mother who was informed of this incident was
forced to return to Sri Lanka.
The Nation learns that moves are made by PEACE to enroll Kanthi
to an institution that would look after her until she turns 19
years of age.
PEACE officials confirmed that Kanthi would be looked after and
would be given a special training on self employment skills so
that she would be able to engage in some sort of employment
later in life.