Envoy rejects rumours over Sri Lankan school closure

32412635Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, Prof (Dr) W M Karunadasa, yesterday clarified that the Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha will not be closed, as suspicion has been created in the community following a letter issued by the embassy on conducting board meetings of the school, The Peninsula reported.

He also expressed desire for expansion of the school on a new premises.

“There are rumours going on about the school and that has created fear among the community whether the Sri Lankan Embassy is going to close down the school. That fear was generated after a letter issued by me with regard to conducting board meetings,” said Prof Karunadasa, who is also Patron of the school.

The school has 20 members on its board of governors and at least half are required to attend meetings, according to the school constitution.

“When the school sent minutes of board meetings without a quorum, I sent a letter requesting it to abide by the school constitution,” said Prof Karunadasa.

The letter reads, “As the patron, I’m compelled to advise you that the constitution’s provisions should be followed in strict term if school wishes to remain under the embassy’s patronage.”

Prof Karunadasa said the school management misinterpreted the letter. “I have no intention to close down the school but to expand it on the new premises which has been handed over to us by Qatar’s government,” he said, adding the school management has to be transparent and work in coordination with the embassy.

“We expect transparency. The school is not willing to come to terms with the embassy and we are kept in dark,” said Prof. Karunadasa.

He said action will be taken to dissolve the board if the school management continues to violate its constitution and fails to work with the embassy.

The school was inaugurated in October 2001 and since 2011 it has been affiliated to the Lankan and  runs as a non-profit organisation. It is being run on a rented premises and has around 1,000 students. The school follows Edexcel Curriculum.

Qatari government allotted a 10,000sqm plot in 2014 for the school under the sponsorship of the embassy. However, steps are yet to be taken to construct a building.

“Many parents are sending their children to Sri Lanka as the school has no vacancies and they prefer their kids follow the local educational system,” said Prof. Karunadasa.

However, Kumudu Foneseka, Founder and Chairman of the school, said the school is run according to its constitution, a proper audit has been submitted to the embassy and steps have been taken to construct the school building on the new premises. (Colombo Gazette)