Saturday, 10 December 2011
Sister Mary Eliza, from the Missionaries of Charity, was arrested on Friday night accused of selling children. This is the first nun of Mother Teresa's missionary to be arrested since it was founded. An anonymous tipoff informed police. The Prem Nivesa of Moratuwa, a hostel for young unwed mothers run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa is now impounded. Sister Eliza, superior of Prem Nivesa, is now in jail at the Women’s Prison of Welikada. A judge is set to charge her formally with illegal trafficking in children.
According to reports, last Wednesday, Anoma Dissanayake, head of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), led a group of people to examine the situation of the children and mothers living in the facility run by the Missionaries. “Police and NCPA officials burst into the home at around 11 am, causing panic. They checked every nook and cranny in the facility and took away our files,” a nun told AsiaNews. On Friday evening, two days after that, police agents took Sister Eliza and two nuns to a judge’s home. Sister Eliza was then taken by car to Welikada Prison, the two other nuns were taken back to the convent. “Police, NCPA officials and media rushed to our facility,” Sister Eliza said before her arrest. “They cross-examined the unwed mothers and took away many documents.”
“We have never been involved in child trafficking. It is against our faith,” she reiterated. “Our mission is to take care of unwed mothers and their children. We have never taken money for our work. Children are adopted in accordance with the law.”
There are nearly 760 convents of Mother Teresa worldwide with more than 5,000 missionaries. The Prem Nivesa has 75 children, 20 pregnant women and 12 new mothers.
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is an independent organization under the Office of the President.