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Sunday, June 24, 2012
University Students' Union to be Banned - Sri Lanka
main university students’ union, The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF)
is charging that the government has a plan to ban it. The alleged attempt
by the government to ban the IUSF is a move towards a destroying the free
education system and arrange the environment to set up private universities.
Sri Lankan Higher Education Ministry
is creating various fabricated stories to ban IUSF as IUSF is the only barrier
to implement Education Privatization. IUSF is ready fight against
government plan though they ban the union without proving any reason said IUSF
Convener, Sanjeewa Bandara.
IUSF, considered as major students’
union which is functioning majority of state universities and struggle against
the government education privatization. IUSF was
established in 1978 and comprises student unions representing 10 main
universities and 6 other Higher Education institutions in Sri Lanka.
Due to university students’ heavy
demonstrations and resistance which led by IUSF on January this year,Sri Lankan
Higher Education Ministry had to temporarily withdraw the proposed Private
Meanwhile Sri Lankan government has
denied any plans to ban the IUSF and says there is no truth of the
“Ministry did not have any plans to
ban the IUSF or any students union but the Ministry is inquiring into the
allegations against the IUSF by another student union. We are investigating two
separate serious ragging cases”.
“Ministry would take stern action
against any student or students’ unions found guilty of being engaged in
ragging students” Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha
Education Ministry has received a secret video of a ragging incident. This
video shows that fresheres are forced to physical and mental violence by
seniors. According to the video the location has been identified as Ruhunu
University and the investigation will be conduct to identify those who are in
Education Minister S B Dissanayeke said that they received a letter from female
students that they had been sexually harmed inside the Colombo University.
According to the contents in the letter, they pleaded from the authorities to
take immediate action against this to prevent future incidents. Special team
has appointed to investigate this incident.
The University Independent
Conversion Movement (UICM), affiliated to the Sri Lankan government has
allegedly accused the IUSF of being responsible for ragging incidents and other
acts of violence in universities. Also UICM declared that it will to go before
the courts demanding the ban of IUSF.
UICM convenor Yukthi Ekadeera said
that the IUSF is responsible for the ragging taking place in state universities
and at the moment about 6,000 students have left the universities who are
unable to face the ragging.
Meanwhile several organizations have
showed their negative response for the government decision. Socialist Students
Union, a student union affiliated to Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi
Peramuna (JVP) says it would not allow the government to ban any students union
in the country. Nalinda Jayatissa, National Organizer of the Socialist Students
Union, said that the attempt to ban the IUSF is part of suppress students and
student movements. He further said that free education system in the country
could be safeguarded only by defeating evils against it.
Bandara told that UICM has a close
links with the government. He further said that at least 6% of the GDP should
allocate for the education sector but present government has only allocated 1.3
%. Government is practicing education privatization and going to set up private
colleges and private universities.
“State universities are not
expanded. Universities are facing financial problems. Government is not paying
bursaries and scholarship payment properly. Society should stand against this
movement. Join hands with us, we are ready to lead” he said.
Keeping the vision “save
free education and against to the privatizing education”, IUSF has done a great
service to protect free education in the country throughout the history.
Finally he said that Police attacks,
tear gases, bullets, courts and prisons cannot stop our struggle to protect