Tamil students allege discrimination in University Admissions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 January 2006, 15:19 GMT]
Two Tamil female candidates who sat for the Sri Lanka Law College entrance examination have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application in the Supreme Court alleging discrimination against Tamil medium candidates. Both have begged the court to order for re-correction of their answer scripts, legal sources said. Meanwhile, fifteen Jaffna students filed another FR application challenging admission procedures to the Faculties of Engineering and Medicine, legal sources added.

Ms Menaka Kesavan and Miss Selvanathan, both from Jaffna, in their Fundemental Rights application have cited the Legal Education Institute and the Attorney General as respondents, legal sources said.

They state in their FR application that there were discrepancies and irregularities in evaluating the answer scripts of Tamil medium candidates.

Only one Tamil medium candidate was admitted to the Law College in 2004 and 2005.

At the last entrance examination held in October, 2005 about ten thousand and eighty nine candidates sat. But only one Tamil medium candidate was selected for the Law College because of the discriminatory procedure adopted in correcting the Tamil medium answer scripts, legal sources said.

A complaint has been lodged with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, sources said.

Meanwhile, fifteen students from the Jaffna district have filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Sri Lanka Supreme Court alleging discrimination in admitting students to Engineering and Medical faculties. They have cited the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Attorney General. The petitioners have begged the court to order the UGC to suspend admitting students to universities till the SC makes order in the FR application, legal sources said.

In the current academic more students have been selected for these two faculties from other parts of the island. But there is no increase in the number of students from the Jaffna district. Hence there is a decrease in the number of students from Jaffna district based on the district quota system. The discrimination is shown not only in the Jaffna district but also in other backward districts such as Hambantota, Moneragala, Vavuniya and Amparai, legal sources said.

Petitioners have sought the SC to order that their fundamental rights have been violated and to provide relief from the authorities concerned, legal sources said.

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