A group of students who vandalised school property in the Matara area were ordered by the Police to follow religious observances, instead of being produced in courts and punished. During the school holidays, 15 students entered the school premises and damaged water pipes, the library and the door of the shrine room. The students, who were arrested by the Police, were told to have a proper hair cut, dress themselves in white clothing and attend the atasil programme held on the last Poya day at the Matara historic bodhiya. The monks, including Ven Hakmana Kusalayana Thera, Hakmana Madura Dhamma Thera and other monks, devoted time to deliver sermons on discipline. Matara HQI Dhammika Amarasena said that the students will be told to attend similar programmes on the next Poya day in January. The parents have been told to collectively meet the cost of the damages which is around Rs50,000.
Pix and text by Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk