2ND LEAD (Update)

49 Tamil students boycott studies, demand security from racial assaults in Peradeniya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 August 2016, 20:09 GMT]
Protesting the assault on Tamil-speaking students in ‘surrender position’ by Sinhalese students at Peradeniya University on Monday this week, 49 Tamil-speaking students attending the first year courses at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences (AHS) have left the University premises on Wednesday and informed the administration that they will not be prepared to return until there is a proper guarantee extended to them by the SL State and the University administration. The University Administration was trying to convince that they would provide guarantees for the security of Tamil and Muslim students within the premises. However, Tamil-speaking students who have come from other provinces have raised questions on their freedom of movement and security in Peradeniya and Kandy.

35 Students had left the campus premises and the hostel on Tuesday and 14 more joined them on Wednesday. As one-third of the students are absent, the administration was forced to postpone the commencement of courses to Monday.

Tamil students blamed the University administration for trying to impose an ultimatum of Monday as a deadline. They also condemned the SL Government and the University Grants Commission for observing silence.

“It was clearly a premeditated attack as the Tamil students returning from a temple Pongkal event and Muslim students coming from Mosque were targeted on Monday,” a second-year Tamil student told TamilNet.

A section of Sinhala students have been demanding similar security guarantees after the conflict at Jaffna University.

The Sinhala students, who have become a ‘majority’ in certain faculties in the universities in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa have been deployed against Eezham Tamil students by the SL Military Intelligence in an attempt to contain the freedom of memorialization and the freedom of speech.

As Colombo-regime and its UGC utterly failed to address the root cause in a proper context and succumbed to Sinhala-chauvinistic politics in the South, the issue has now escalated to Peradeniya University, the Tamil-speaking students complained.

The Tamil students have also condemned the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians for failing to voice for the protection of Tamil students.

The root cause of such continued and un-ending conflict lies not in the island, but in the ‘reconciliation’ paradigm coming from Washington. The talk of ‘reconciliation’ and multiculturalism, without delivery of justice and without meaningful political solution recognising nations and territories, serves only imperialist geopolitical interests. The exact meaning of ‘reconciliation’ in Washington’s English dictionary is impunity and confirmation of genocide, commented independent academic observers in Peredeniya and Jaffna.


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