Lanka reopen schools and universities with tight security.
measures have been taken by Sri Lanka Army and Policemen to ensure maximum
safety of students and teachers after government reopen schools and universities
following April 21 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.
deployed near schools and universities. School bags and body checking going and
road blocks, barriers are setup near schools and universities. Face covers
banned, Teachers and students have asked to be vigilant about the environment
and stay away from suspicious parcels and packages.
Several universities already reopened. Jaffna university and Sri Pali Campus to reopen May 22, Uva Wellassa and Sabaragamuwa universities to reopen May 21.
attendance in schools after Sri Lanka government reopened schools following
Easter sunday bombs blasts. Some reports suggest 5-10% students attendance on
May 6th, the first day of reopening. Education officials believe figures may
increase coming days as situation getting normal.
Sri Lanka education
officials reopened schools despite teachers and principal unions objections,
even not consider Chief Prelates of Buddhist chapters request of postponing
Schools were set to
reopen April 22nd for the second term but suddenly closed after easter Sunday
ISIS linked, local
Islamists group carried out Easter Sunday bombings targeting three churches,
three luxury tourist hotels and two other locations left 257 people dead and
more than 500 injured.
principals union and parents opposed the government decision of opening schools
as still massive amount of explosives, ammunitions, swords and warlike items
are still recovering during search operations daily. These findings have made
students and parents panic and worrying as feeling of uncertainties still
decision was taken after consulting police and armed forces. “Security has been
tightened around schools, reopening decision was made after security units
reach a clear consensus on the security situation in every school” Education
Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.
initially planned to reopen schools for all grades from May 6 Monday, but due
to security measures decided to reopen them in two phases.
The government has
decided to open classes only for students above grade six and postponed
commencing classes for grades one to six for next week May 13.
Despite the government
decision, the head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, Cardinal Malcolm
Ranjith, has ordered Catholic schools not to reopen on May 6 Monday due to
security reasons. Catholic schools are expected to reopen for the second term
on May 14.
Though, security forces
launched massive search and cleaning operations island-wide before reopening
schools, poor turnout of students recorded at schools in and around Colombo.
According to reports,
less attendance reports in most schools, especially in Colombo and Negombo.
Education Ministry said
that the attendance of students in village schools (out of Colombo) had however
shown remarkable figures with teachers’ attendance was satisfactory.
Sri Lankans are getting used to normalcy but
daily findings of Explosives, ammunitions, swords and warlike items during
search operation have made students, parents panic and worrying.
A worrying mother Umanga Hettiarachchi
speaking to "Lanka University News" said that she is not happy about the
government’s security arrangements for schools and not send her kid to school.
“I dont feel safety about our kids. Even
though government says that they provided enough security for every school, I
don’t believe it and not satisfied. Only one security officer has assigned for
the whole school & government asks principal & staff to take the
responsibility of students safety” she
Popular private tuition
teacher Mahen Kumarage speaking to "Lanka University News" told that government
has given enough security for their classes.
“During last few days
there were considerable drop of students’ attendance but now students are
coming again as confidence building, during my sessions I took several minutes
and I teach them the importance of being unity with other races and other
“One student, I taught,
died with her mom. Heartbreaking to visit her class on Monday to see the empty
chair” emotional female teacher from international school in Colombo told LuN.
“The whole world has
terrorist threats. Only difference is the other countries take proper security
measures to protect their nation. Unlike our leaders who knew and peacefully
slept on the 20th night”.
Though the schools
reopened, several Universities are not re-open yet as scheduled before until
permission is given by the National Security Council.
Sri Lanka University
Grants Commission (UGC) says that universities will be re-opened after the
security forces ensure the security of university premises.
The commission says
police and tri-Forces have been deployed at every university across the island.
Each University will be inspected thoroughly by the security personnel before
the universities are to resume their academic activities.
In a bid to ensure
maximum safety of students and staff the UGC has released guidelines ahead of
the commencement of sessions at state universities and higher educational
All persons including
students and academic allowed to enter university after ID card verification,
physical body check and checking of all bags, back packs and belongings.
All vehicles including
threewheelers (Tuk Tuk), scooters, motorbikes and cycles will be subject to
security checks before being permitted to enter the university.
Bags, backpacks are
strictly prohibited in lecture halls, examination hall and in the laboratories.
Students are strongly advised to minimise carrying bags and backpacks around
the university premises and at the canteens.
“Once the security
units check the premises of all universities, the status will be reported.
Thereafter, the vice chancellors can decide on the dates to recommence their
respective universities” UGC issued a statement.
Meanwhile, The President and Secretary of the
Jaffna University Students Union were arrested during a search operation, while
apprehended with photos and posters of
LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Sri Lanka government on
April 30, issued an extraordinary gazette banning face covers including Muslim
females dress Burqas and Niqabs.
"No person shall
wear in any public place any garment, clothing or such other material
concealing the full face which will in any manner cause any hindrance to the
identification of a person" gazette further says.
regulations, now Universities and schools are not allowing students or teachers
to enter or stay within the premises with a face covers.
Most of schools and
Muslim schools in the country were seen putting up notices to all its staff
members, students and visitors to refrain from entering the premises by wearing
full-face helmet, Burqa, Niqab or carrying large bags.
Muslim female student
told LuN that she feel shy to going to higher education institute without face
cover as she is wearing Niqab from long time.
After the Easter Sunday
attacks, students and students unions demanded government to shutdown
controversial ‘Sharia University or “Batticaloa campus” saying it spread
radical Islamic religious ideology and says it allows students to study
Bachelor of Arts in Sharia and Islamic Studies in Islamic Law in Sri Lanka
without charging money.
Students’ Federation IUSF says the largest Islamic university in South Asia is
being constructed at Punani in Batticaloa area to promote Islamic religious
ideology, with financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and support from
government and UGC.
IUSF says university
conduct 10 degree courses including Islamic Banking & Finance and Shariah
& Islamic Studies.
Chairman of the
University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof. Mohan de Silva says that there is no
university named ‘Sharia University’ under the jurisdiction of the UGC refusing
media reports UGC involvement.
Commission categorically states that no organization by the name of ‘Sharia
University’ or ‘Batticaloa Campus’ has ever requested permission, nor given
authority by the Commission to conduct degree courses.” UGC said releasing a
criticism, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said on May 8th that Batticaloa
University will be regulated under the Higher Education Ministry. President
further said that university expected to continue as a private university under
the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Higher Education and, there will
be a clear decision regarding the curriculum maintained by the university.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka
government has expelled around 200 Islamic clerics after the Easter bombings.
The clerics are believed to have entered the country legally, but due to
security crackdown after the attacks, they were found to have overstayed their
visas for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from the island.
Sri Lanka government
planning to bring new act “Counter Terrorism Bill” as existing laws are not
sufficient to face the global terrorism. Opposition parties and students unions
are against the new act saying new act include several articles that suppress
the people and completely violate the people's rights.
Federation says government planning to bring terrorism act to suppress students
and launch terror inside universities.
The Tri-Forces, Police
and the Civil Defense Force together have launched a massive special operation
since May 01st to ensure the safety of schools. Every school thoroughly
inspected before the resumption of academic activities. Every school has at
least one security personnel. In addition, the stationary patrols and special
search teams deployed to ensure security of schools.
“Security has been
tightened around schools, Principals, teachers, parents, alumni and students
are also responsible for the security of school children. Safety of the
children is a national and a civic duty of everyone at present. Education
Ministry has taken every step to protect the school children” Education
Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.
During a search
operation was collaboratively carried out by the Army, Police and the Special
Task Force, about 200 ammunitions were recovered from the premises of a girls’
school in Gampola village. Police suspected that due to intensified raids in
the area, someone have thrown away the ammunition parcel into the school
As schools close, some
parents asked their children to use internet and online tutorials till schools
are open as they are getting ready for university entrance examination this
Some parents had to
treat their children as they suffered with depression following easter Sunday
attacks. Some students reportedly
mentally upset and had to get treatments parents had to
After three successive
days of numbness, fear, anxiety, trauma,
Issuing a statement today (May 10), UGC requests
Vice Chancellor to decide the dates of academic activities commencement at any
date from May 13, if VC’s are satisfied with the security situation.