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Probe on Covid prodigy child abuse complaint

2 years ago

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  • Child claims to have produced a Covid-19 cure

By  Pamodi Waravita   Following a complaint received to its 1929 hotline, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) commenced investigations into the alleged abuse of a child from the Kegalle District, who has claimed to have produced a cure for Covid-19. Speaking to The Morning, NCPA Chairman Prof. Muditha Vidanapathirana said the Authority is currently investigating whether a violation of Section 5(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act of 2007 has occurred in the media portrayal of and other related concerns regarding the child. The aforementioned Section states: “In all matters concerning children, whether undertaken by the public or by private social welfare institutions, courts, administrative authorities, or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be of paramount importance.” Thus, Prof. Vidanapathirana said the NCPA is concerned about whether the child’s best interests have been protected by both the adults surrounding him and the media portrayal of the child. “The news could have been reported without sensationalising the child,” noted Prof. Vidanapathirana. Reportedly, the child is claiming to have found a cure for the Covid-19 virus, following divine intervention. The child’s father has claimed that he is related to Dhammika Bandara who promoted a purported and since-debunked Covid-19 cure last year, again claiming divine intervention. Prof. Vidanapathirana further cited a previous case which had occurred where the media had shown a 15-year-old child who had been sexually exploited for monetary gains. Following the incident, the NCPA had written several letters, including to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), urging that child rights not be violated in the reporting of such incidents.

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