Reply to the Rebuttal of my article by the SJC87 Initiative
I welcome the statement by the SJC87 Initiative rebutting my aspersions about this charity. The primary focus of my research note was the contents and the publicity material of the book by Niromi de Soyza (nom de guerre). The SJC87 Initiative came into scrutiny because of the claim by the author of the Tamil Tigress that this is a charity of her “alma mater”. I stand by my claim and some of the attendees at the literary festival where Niromi made that statement are willing to testify to the truthfulness of my claim. Therefore, if SJC87 Initiative has been brought into disrepute by my writing, then it is solely due to the blatant lie of Niromi de Soyza. The fact that Niromi de Soyza has not personally disputed what I have written about the claim by her in Melbourne itself is sufficient proof of the truthfulness of my writing.
Besides, the rebuttal by SJC87 Initiative has not cleared my suspicions about that charity. For example, it has not told us why there is no postal address given for the charity. Further, the rebuttal claims that “Over 150 children have been awarded education/accommodation sponsorship” in the past two years. I am not convinced about this claim because of the information given by the current Principal of St. John’s College to Raisa Wickrematunge of The Sunday Leader of November 27, 2011 where the Principal has claimed that only seven scholarships have been provided. See here.
If we are to believe the SJC87 Initiative as an authentic charity it has to release the full list of sponsors and beneficiaries of their scholarship and other programmes so that we can verify the authenticity of their claim. Although the SJC87 Initiative claims to be functioning for over two years, there is no financial statement available on their website. This is mandatory for any charity soliciting monetary donations from the general public as the SJC87 Initiative does.
Moreover, in the GroundViews blog one “Rohan” claimed that “the primary school had girls in them.” In the blog of The Sunday Leader dated November 20, 2011 one “Navasakthy Raja” claims in response to Raisa Wickrematunge’s article that “As an old Johnian, I am aware that even(t) female students studied in the higher classes for university entrance – HSC”. See here. These claims are disputed by the current Principal of SJC. See here. Who are these people kidding? Has the rebuttal of my article by the SJC87 Initiative clarified this matter?
Above all, Niromi de Soyza has not responded to my criticisms of her book. Likewise, she has not responded to the earlier criticisms by Arun Ambalavanar and Michael Roberts. This amounts to Niromi’s acceptance of guilty in the same way the Sri Lankan Government’s non-response to the Darusman Report of the United Nations amounts to acceptance of guilt. Niromi’s non-response is in contrast to the story of a boy soldier from Sierra Leone whose autobiographical book also came into similar (but not that severe) criticism few years back, but he did respond to his critics. See here.
The very fact that the defence of Niromi de Soyza is coming from people associated with the SJC87 Initiative and others whose political affiliations are apparent further confirms my claim that there is a group of people behind the author and the book. The rebuttal of SJC87 Initiative claims that “….the author could not identify this ‘active member of OBA’ when a friend of SJC87 Initiative contacted the author over phone….” First of all, I would like to categorically say that this friend of SJC87 Initiative did not ask me about the source of my information; instead he wanted to meet me to discuss some unspecified matters. I have very important information about the political affiliation of this “friend of SJC87 Initiative”. Should I say more?
I wholeheartedly welcome and look forward to any legal action by the SJC87 Initiative against me, because that will afford me an opportunity to reveal many more evidences in my possession.