Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sri Lanka University News: New wave of University Student Protests - Sri Lank...

Giving a clue that New Year 2012 will be an episode year to Sri Lankan university system, two main universities are closed and several students are injured after the students’ unrest.
Sri Jayewardenepura University which is situated in Colombo and Rajarata University located North central province have closed temporarily since January 8 over a students’ unrest.
While Higher Education officials are continuing the student suppress, University teachers’ union is going to launch a strike again. Over 100 university students have been suspended from studentship since November due to alleged involvement of protests and ragging.
Sri Lanka’s number one Management Faculty and the two other faculties at the University have been closed indefinitely by the university officials.
Students’ unrest has been growing over the last two months and it burst after the bomb blast which carried out by an unidentified group on January 5.
Student Heroes Memorial statue has been damaged due to this petrol bomb blast and the memorial statue is considered as the sacred statue that has been dedicated for the dead student heroes.
Angry students accuse the university officials of destroying the statue and claimed Vice Chancellor should responsible for the blast.
After the blast huge protest march staged by the students and over 3000 students headed towards the President’s House which is located in a High Security Zone but later Police has disrupted the protest.
After the protest students have launched another sitting in protest (Satyagraha campaign) inside the university calling for the removal of University's Vice Chancellor. Several students who have supported for the protest have been attacked by an unidentified group and the attacked students later have been admitted to the Hospital with injuries.
On January 8, after situation become uncontrollable officials announced that the university has closed but students continue their protest inside the university premises. Finally the Magistrate’s Court ordered police to remove all students within the university premises. The students who were waiting and protesting within the University premises have left peacefully following the court order.
Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) the most influential student union in the university system says that they are strongly condemn the Vice Chancellor’s behavior.
“Clearly this has done by university officials and Vice Chancellor has told several days ago that the statue should remove” We will continue our fight till VC is leaving IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara told the UWN.
“By creating a crisis in the universities, government wants to bring foreign universities to the country”. “At the moment about 150 students have been suspended at the university system mentioning false reasons. Also Higher Education Ministry has banned 33 students’ unions including 8 major student’s councils he further said.
“We have appointed a special committee to solve this crisis”. The committee will find the root causes and suggest the solutions to continue the studies without problems” Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha said.
The Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake will meet the officials and the students of the University on next Saturday and take necessary measures to re-open the university soon.
Medical faculty of the Rajarata University has closed due to student unrest. Students of the Kelaniya University staged a protest outside the university premises calling for the authorities to remove the suspension of 14 students.
Three students of the Sabaragamuwa University have been attacked by an unidentified group today morning and admitted to the hospital. A special police team has been assigned to investigate the attack.
At the moment this report is writing students of the Peradeniya University are boycotting classes in protest of the suspension of two students.
Meanwhile the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) has again decided to hold a token strike on January 17 demanding proposed salary hike.  Ministry of Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha says the circular pertaining to rectify salary anomalies of academic and non-academic staffs of the universities will be released within next two days. 

New wave of University Student Protests - Sri Lanka

Buddhist student monks have joined thousands of other university students in a new wave of protests to hit Sri Lanka in recent weeks, forcing the temporary closure of at least two major universities this week and widespread disruption of classes.
Student monks at the seminary Buddha Shrawaka Bhikku University in North Central province staged a protest on 11 January, adding to a spate of demonstrations in universities that involved thousands of students in different parts of the country.

Notably, there have been protests at Sri Jayewardenepura University in Colombo and Rajarata University in North Central province. Both have been closed by the authorities since 8 January to stem the unrest.

Student activists claim that the protests were provoked by the government in order to push a controversial private universities bill through parliament, taking advantage of university closures as students would be unable to gather for large protests.