Global appeal for release of Vice Chancellor Raveendranath

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 15:11 GMT]
67 academics, colleagues, and partners of Eastern University, across country borders, Tuesday jointly urged for the safe release of Professor S. Raveendranath, the Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, who was reported missing Friday in Colombo's High Security area. In September, an unidentified armed group kidnapped the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Eastern University, demanding Professor Ravindranath's resignation in return for the Dean's release.

The joint appeal said: "Professor Ravindranath has played a central part in the work of the University from its foundation in 1981, and his tenure as Vice-Chancellor has coincided with major developments like the opening of the first medical school in the East of Sri Lanka."

Full text of the appeal follows:

Statement of Concern Regarding Missing Vice-Chancellor of Eastern University, Sri Lanka

We wish to express our deep concern about the apparent abduction of Professor S. Ravindranath, Vice-Chancellor of Eastern University in Sri Lanka. On Friday 15th December, he left a meeting of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science in central Colombo, and has not been seen since. His family have reported his disappearance to the police.

In September an unidentified armed group kidnapped the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Eastern University, demanding Professor Ravindranath's resignation in return for the Dean's release. The Vice-Chancellor has not been able to return to the University since that incident and had been carrying out his duties from Colombo.

Our colleagues in universities across Sri Lanka have struggled heroically in the face of war and natural disaster in recent years. Eastern University is located in one of the areas most devastated by the civil war and by the Tsunami of 2004.

That it is still capable of producing world-class researchers is testimony to the quality and dedication of its academic staff. Professor Ravindranath has played a central part in the work of the University from its foundation in 1981, and his tenure as Vice-Chancellor has coincided with major developments like the opening of the first medical school in the East of Sri Lanka.

As colleagues, friends, and, in some cases, academic partners of Eastern University we urgently appeal for the swift and safe release of Professor Ravindranath, and for the protection and safety of all our colleagues in Sri Lanka.

  1. Dr. Michael Woost, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hartwick College,USA
  2. Prof. Thongchai Winichakul, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  3. Dr. David Washbrook, St Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK
  4. Dr. Nicholas Van Hear, Senior Researcher, The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, UK
  5. Dr. Terrance J. Taylor, Research Associate, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA
  6. Prof. Donald K. Swearer, Director, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, USA
  7. Dr. Alison Strang, Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK
  8. Prof. Kristian Stokke, University of Oslo, Norway
  9. Associate Prof. Birgitte Refslund Sřrensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Prof. Jonathan Spencer, Professor of the Anthropology of South Asia, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh
  11. Associate Prof. Hans Skotte, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  12. Dr. Bob Simpson, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social Science and Health, University of Durham, UK

  13. Professor John Sidel, Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  14. Prof. N. Shanmugaratnam, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway
  15. Prof. Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago, USA and Centennial Visiting Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  16. Prof. S W R de A Samarasinghe, Tulane University, USA & Executive Director, ICES, Sri Lanka
  17. Dr. John D. Rogers, Bibliography of Asian Studies, USA
  18. Dr. Susan A. Reed, Director, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender and Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology, Bucknell University, USA
  19. Prof. Velcheru Narayana Rao, Krishnadevaraya Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  20. Dr Caroline Paskell, London, UK
  21. Prof. Jonathan P. Parry, Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  22. Dr. Camilla Orjuela, Göteborg University, Sweden
  23. Dr. Ranjini Obeyesekere, Lecturer Emerita, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University, USA
  24. Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University, USA
  25. Prof. Hisashi Nakamura, Department of Economy, Ryukoku University, Japan
  26. Dr. Martha Mundy, Reader in Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  27. Elizabeth Monson, Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin- Madison, USA
  28. Dr. Jody Miller, Associate Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA
  29. Prof. Eric Meyer, Vice-President, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations, University of Paris, France
  30. Prof. Barbara McPake, Director, Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK
  31. Prof. Susan McGrath, Director, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada
  32. Dr. Caitrin Lynch, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, Olin College of Engineering, USA
  33. Prof. Ragnhild Lund, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  34. Dr.Wasantha A. Liyanage, Lecturer in Sinhala Language, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University, USA
  35. Prof. Jonathan Lewis, Institute for the Study of Global Issues, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
  36. Assistant Prof. Benedikt Korf, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  37. Dr. Steven Kemper, Asian Studies, Bates College, USA
  38. Dr. Alf Morten Jerve, Assistant Director, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway
  39. Dr. Tariq Jazeel, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK
  40. Associate Prof. Jennifer Hyndman, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  41. Dr. Kristine Hoglund, Uppsala University, Sweden
  42. Prof. Ruth Haug, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway
  43. Prof. John Harriss, Professor of International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  44. Prof. Olivia Harris, Professor of Social Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  45. Associate Prof. Charles Hallisey, Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  46. Prof. Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University, USA
  47. Dr. Arjun Guneratne, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Macalester College, U.S.A
  48. Prof. Anthony Good, Head of School, School of Social & Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
  49. Prof. Wenona Giles, Atkinson College, York University, Canada.
  50. Prof. James W. Gair, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Cornell University
  51. Prof. Řivind Fuglerud, University of Oslo, Norway
  52. Amani El-Jack, School of Women's Studies, York University, Canada
  53. Shukria Dini, School of Women's Studies, York University, Canada.
  54. Prof. C. R. De Silva, Dean, College of Arts and Letters, Old Dominion University, USA
  55. Assistant Prof. Donald Davis, Department of Languages & Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  56. Christina P. Davis, Anthropology Department, University of Michigan, USA
  57. Dr. Michael Cullinane, Associate Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  58. Prof. A.P. Cohen, FRSE, Principal & Vice-Patron, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK
  59. Assistant Prof. Bambi L. Chapin, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Maryland, USA
  60. Prof. Ian Bryceson, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway
  61. Associate Prof. Cathrine Brun, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  62. Dr. Robert Boyce, Department of International History, London School of Economics & Political Science, UK
  63. Dr. Anne M. Blackburn, Associate Professor of South Asia & Buddhist Studies, Cornell University, USA
  64. Dr. Zoltán Biedermann, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  65. Assistant Prof. Bernard Bate, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, USA
  66. Dr. Daniel Bass, Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies & Fellow of The Honors College, Florida International University, USA
  67. Prof. Yoshiko Ashiwa, Institute for the Study of Global Issues, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

 

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