35 Tamil-speaking students leave Peradeniya campus after racial assault

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 23:37 GMT]
35 Tamil-speaking students attending first year courses at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences (AHS) at the University of Peradeniya on Tuesday left the University premises, after 12 of them were subjected to brutal ethnic-motivated assault by Sinhala students Monday evening. Four students were rushed to hospital with severe injuries after a group of 2nd year Sinhala students of the same faculty attacked them on Monday. Sinhala students who came in motorbikes surrounded the Tamil-speaking students and instructed them to put their hands on surrender position and brutally attacked them using their helments. The incident took place when the Tamil-speaking students were on their way to hostel after attending a faculty related event at Ku'ringhchik-kumaran temple. Around 35 of 200 first-year students at the Faculty of AHS are Tamil-speaking students and most of them were from North-East.

The students who sustained serious injuries were Tamil students from Jaffna.

The Tamil-speaking students who left the University premises on Tuesday told TamilNet that the attack on them on Monday was a racially motived attack.

Peradeniya assault on Tamil students
Peradeniya assault on Tamil students
Two of the attacked Tamil students. Photos were provided to media by the fellow students.
“The Sinhala students, including those who attacked us, were trying to block us from leaving the campus premises. The administration was asking us not to create a situation alike the one in Jaffna by leaving the hostel. How can we stay here after witnessing such a racially motivated attack,” asked a Tamil student who is receiving medical treatment.

“There were around 17 Tamil-speaking students. None of us were able to defend ourselves. Although 12 of them sustained injuries, only those with serious injuries were rushed to hospital,” the student told TamilNet on condition of anonymity.

The attack on Tamil students is a pre-mediated one. It has come following a series of ethnic-motivated attacks that have taken place in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Jaffna.

Colombo-based media and the University administration have been attempting to suppress the news coverage on the incident and the assaulted Tamil students have been told that they would risk losing their seats if they talked to media, the student further told TamilNet.

The attack in Peradeniya comes two weeks after former SL President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike visited the University of Jaffna and ‘advised’ the student union leaders there to include Sinhala students in key positions of the Jaffna University Student Union in the future.

There is a long list of ethnic-motivated attacks carried out by Sinhala students against Tamil students in the North-East after the 2009 genocidal onslaught on Eezham Tamils.


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