Twelve Coffins Representing Children who were Abused and Killed to be Carried in Procession
The second phase of the ‘#Noගුටි National Campaign to End Violence Against Children’ is all set to start on April 1 in Galle with Sri Lanka’s first of its kind ‘Lama Surakum Yathra (Child Protection Tour)’. The campaign spearheaded by the Stop Child Cruelty Trust (SCCT) and the Child Protection Alliance (CPA) will culminate on April 2 at the Independence Square in Colombo having travelled along the coast.
On April 1, twelve coffins will be carried in memory of the 12 children who were abused and killed in the past 18 months, travelling from Galle through Beruwala to Kaluthara and Colombo Fort reaching Independence Square on April 2. The tour will be led by Sri Lanka’s first ever Child Protection Goodwill Ambassadors Saranga Disasekara, Dinakshie Priyasad, Umara Sinhawansa, Harith Wijeratne, Adithya Weliwatta, Dr. Visakesa Chandrasekaram, Kalakeerthi Niranjani Shanmugaraja, Abisheka Fernando and Otara Gunewardena appointed on February 21, 2022.
“Child protection is a national crisis. There is nothing more tragically critical than your child leaving home and returning in a coffin. It is past time for us to unite as a country to address the situation. 225 children will launch a historic appeal ‘#225මඕන’ directly to 225 Members of Parliament at the grand finale in Independence Square, to move child protection to the heart of the national security agenda. This will be backed up by an online public petition along with public signing, events in important cities, carried out with the help of influential celebrity Child Protection Goodwill Ambassadors and Sri Lanka’s child protection professionals”, stressed Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka, Founder Chairperson, Stop Child Cruelty Trust and Co-Convener, Child Protection Alliance
SCC invites the public to join the event on April 1 along with their most loved celebrities in song and drama while being educated on how to protect the children of our society. The tour will commence at 9 a.m. in Galle on April 1 opposite the Bus terminal, at Beruwela, opposite the market at 1:20 p.m. and at 4pm in Kalutara, opposite the bus terminal. On April 2, the campaign will commence at 9 a.m. opposite the Colombo Fort Railway Station and the Grand Finale will be held with the special guests marking the occasion with a historic appeal at Independence Square at 2:30 p.m.
SCC with CPA launched #NOගුටි with the goal of eradicating corporal punishment and in obtaining Parliamentary approval to implement the landmark Supreme Court ruling of February 2021, which unambiguously prohibits corporal punishment through Penal Code revisions and other mechanisms. SCC earlier initiated the formation of Sri Lanka’s first CPA of credible organisations passionately committed to protecting and promoting the rights of children. The Alliance firmly believes that working cohesively towards focused targets will help achieve greater success, especially in advocacy work with relevant state institutions.
Child protection is a collective social responsibility and SCC/CPA will continue its collaborative efforts to build a self-governing ethical code of behaviour to safeguard and promote the rights of victims of child abuse, while also preventing re-victimization in the community. Those interested in getting involved towards the cause can visit the website at www.stopchildcruelty.com and the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stopchildcruelty or email firstname.lastname@example.org.