Southern extremist groups influence Sinhala students at universities in North-East

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 April 2016, 22:43 GMT]
Tamil academics attached to the Universities of Jaffna and at the Eastern University say they are worried about Sinhala extremist elements from South continuously influencing the Sinhala students at these universities. There is ethnic motivated patterns of suppressive and exclusivist tendency at the universities, especially among the Sinhala students who have a ‘good rapport’ with the occupying Sinhala military and police. However, the university administrations are reluctant to address the challenge at an early stage. They intentionally avoid making complaints about racially motivated crimes taking place within the university premises, the academic sources said. The violence that shocked the Trincomalee campus in March took place as the Eastern University administration maintained its reluctance for a long time despite repeated complaints from the Tamil students.

In the meantime, at Jaffna university, two Sinhala students belonging to the science faculty were not prepared to obey the instructions by the security guards on Tuesday last week. The two students and an outsider were trying to convene a meeting for Sinhala extremist JVP inside the hostel premises Tuesday evening. The JVP propagandists attempted to assault the security guards and threatened them stating that the JVP had ‘powerful contacts’ in Jaffna.

At Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University, a three-member committee was appointed to investigate the recent violence against Tamil students at the Trincomalee campus of Eastern University.

The committee, comprising Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Robinson, Asst. Bursar D. Jewawardene and lecturer Dr. Jeevaratnam Kennedy, has reportedly identified around 15 students involved in the violence without categorising them as victims or aggressors. Half of them are Sinhalese. The commission is also reluctant to file its own conclusion, an informed source told TamilNet.

All the students admitted at the hospital in the East following the attack were Tamils. Following advice from external sources, some of the Sinhala students went to a hospital in Matara to get medical certificates, the source further said.

Meanwhile, a source close to one of the committee members told TamilNet that the identified students would be subjected to further investigations and that it would be the responsibility of the university administration to take disciplinary actions against those being identified as culprits.

Tamil academics have called for a parallel institution in a federal arrangement to look after the academic institutions in the country of Eezham Tamils.

The Colombo-centric University Grants Commission (UCG) comprises of 5 Sinhala members and two symbolic representatives, one being a Tamil and the other a Muslim.


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