Student unrest over Uthayan article continues

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The tension between the Uthayan news paper and the students of the Jaffna university continues. The undergraduates' union decided to boycott lectures today until the university administration gives them an undertaking that it will take action if the paper were to publish any incorrect report about them in the future.

The union, according to sources, accused the paper of never doing anything in the interests of the university.

The boycott began from this afternoon.

The associate editor of the Uthayan Mr. N Vithiyatharan reacted angrily this evening to this move saying that he and his paper will continue to campaign against ragging as it has now become a social evil.

He said that public mood in Jaffna is very much against it and that in several areas informal anti ragging committees have been formed.

This is mainly a reaction against the severe ragging to which first year students who have to follow a mandatory pre -university English language proficiency course are subjected.

This course is conducted at four centres in various parts of the peninsula.

Senior students go to these centres to rag the freshers following the course.

The ragging is intense that there has been a sharp drop in the number of students attending the course. Mr. Vithiyatharan pointed out that the Uthayan had helped the Jaffna University students carry on an indirect protest campaign against the IPKF following the killing of an undergraduate who died when the Indian army fired to disperse a university demonstration in 1988.

He said that the Uthayan had to bear the brunt of the IPKF's wrath over the silent protest that was launched through ads in the paper.


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