I am an undergraduate from the University of Kelaniya, haling from Colombo. I am deeply disturbed by what I saw and heard regarding the situation in the University of Jaffna. It is one of the most prestigious universities in Sri Lanka which underwent difficulties at the time of the war.
However, it is high time to restructure and assist it rise beyond its former glories. I have a few questions and comments. I think everyone understands that the situation arose due to the actions of a limited group of students and not every Tamil nor Sinhalese student is involved. However, will this trend continue or is it a one off? and will it spread among the entire student community?
Are you suggesting that there is no ethnic background to it, as media has suggested? But rather a conflict between two student groups?
The TamilNet and few other Tamil sites reported the news in a different way. I do not see any correction being made?
Do you think that law enforcement authorities should not take any action against the perpetrators?
Few months back I saw a post on the harmony between Sinhalese and Tamil students in Jaffna and this event came as a shock to me. I sincerely hope the situations will go back to normal and I hope students such as yourself are leading the reconciliation process. In our universities such atrocities have not happend and I can assure will not happen as we will hand in hand, like brothers and sisters with all students.
You have mentioned the increasing number of Sinhalese students in the University, I hope you would understand that students are admitted through the GCE Advance Level examination and entirely decide by the Z Score and since the war against terrorism now ended it is only right the people from south start coming back to north. A tendency which we believed to be a crucial for reconciliation. I am happy to see that you took the courage to right article and I hope you and the other brothers and sisters will lead a reconciliation process in the University of Jaffna.
3rd Year Undergraduate University of Kelaniya
Thanks for your concern and believe on the hope. It is very clear the both side medias represents to the racist views. we need to be out of that, always.
//I think everyone understands that the situation arose due to the actions of a limited group of students and not every Tamil nor Sinhalese student is involved. However, will this trend continue or is it a one off? and will it spread among the entire student community?//
However we have to change this discourse. we cant allow this trends to continue. we need to develop the love and friendship towards each and everyone. we cannot completely separate this issue from the ethnic contradictions in the country. What happens at the national level among the communities continues shape what happens inside the university. Because of militarization, Buddhisization of places in the North where no Buddhists actually live, ongoing land grabs by the state, and the absence of a political solution to the national question, even requests like the one made by the Sinhala students is seen with suspicion among a section of the Tamil students (I am not talking here about the chauvnistic Tamil students who think Jaffna belongs to Tamils). But the request made by the Sinhala students is a fair one.
//Are you suggesting that there is no ethnic background to it, as media has suggested? But rather a conflict between two student groups?//
I dont want to comment on that, but we dont see their request is wrong. They have the rights.but we have to see the other part, there are attacks on Tamil students in the Eastern University, Uwa-Wellasa. But mainstream student groups in the South have not raised these issues in public.
//The TamilNet and few other Tamil sites reported the news in a different way. I do not see any correction being made?//
They are like that always, we want to raise the alternative voices. I think it is time progressive student groups at all the universities in the country stand up and speak against ethnic intolerance at all our universities. Perhaps, the Inter University Students’ Federation should take this matter as a serious issue.
//Do you think that law enforcement authorities should not take any action against the perpetrators?//
we will see what is going to be. invesitigation strats. anyhow we have to be together to solve this. in future ,and beyond that.