Nun gets bail in trafficking case

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Sr Mary Gets BailSri Lanka, November 29, 2011: An Indian nun, who was arrested on charges of human trafficking after a raid on a children’s home run by the Missionary of Charity (MC) sisters in Sri Lanka, got bail Monday.

Sr. Mary Elisha was arrested on November 25 from the Prem Niwasa children’s home in Moratuwa, around 18km south of Colombo.

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said Sr. Elisha is charged with child trafficking and other related abuses in connection with a program being run by the nuns to support pregnant unmarried women.

The raid last week by police and NPCA officials followed an alleged tip-off the children’s home was being run as a “baby farm.”

Several foreigners along with 75 children, 20 pregnant women and 12 new mothers were allegedly present at the time of the raid on November 23.

Sister Elisha, denies the allegations, saying the home which she runs has never been involved in selling children and that the sisters have never taken money for their work.

According to the NCPA, even if the trafficking charge proves unfounded, the home was still breaking the law.

“Prem Niwasa is registered under the Department of Probation and Child Care Service to run a home for children, not to take care of unwed pregnant mothers,” said Anoma Dissanayake, the authority’s chair.

The raid and arrest has caused outrage among the home’s supporters.

According to prominent Buddhist thinker Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne the nuns are providing excellent care for children.

“The sisters are taking such good care and give so much love in bringing them up, as good citizens,” the founder of the Sarvodaya Movement said.

Sr. Elisha is next due to appear in court on December 1, according to Sister Johannes, Provincial of the MC nuns in Sri Lanka.

– ucan

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