Feature Article

Educational Mu'l'livaaykkaal targets Vavuniyaa campus of Jaffna University

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 May 2018, 19:10 GMT]
The occupying unitary State of genocidal Sri Lanka is scheming to separate the campus of Vavuniyaa, which is currently under the administration of Jaffna University through a so-called ‘upgrading’ to full-fledged university status in the near future. At the same time, a planned move is also underway to use the ethnic sentiments of the Sinhala students to speed up the process of Sinhalicisaton of the administration of the campus. The sinister move is said to be the motive behind the latest controversy over a handful of students from the South attempting to forcefully erect a Buddha temple within the premises of Vavuniyaa campus. In the meantime, the diplomatic missions based in Colombo are actively involved in a systematic ‘pacification’ programme targeting Tamil academics and students to indirectly abet the Sinhalicisation of Tamil educational institutions.

The attitude of the foreign powers is nothing different to the role played by their diplomatic and military establishments in the crimes, which were executed by the agent State in Colombo towards Mu'l'livaaykkaal Genocide in 2009, an academic source at the University of Jaffna told TamilNet.

It is long known that the influencing powers, including the neighbouring India, using external scholarships to shape the rising talents among the Tamils towards their Establishment-compliant programmes. The latest addition to this trend is the move of involving Tamil diaspora technical experts to interact with Sinhala students through the Science Faculty of the University of Jaffna.

“Many of the Tamil diaspora academics and experts getting persuaded into these programmes are those who were involved in the struggle-centric political movement of Eezham Tamils before 2009,” the source said detailing many cases on condition of anonymity.

The academic urged increased awareness on the part of Eezham Tamils on methods, programmes and initiatives, which should be conceived and defended by the Tamil academic community to counter the damages being inflicted upon Tamils and their education by Colombo and the forces abetting it with vested geopolitical interests.

“The Eezham Tamils should not lose their linguistic and cultural ownership to their education. The role of culture and language are more important to the nation of Eezham Tamils than the personal benefits of the funded programmes,” the source further said.

Tamils had a clear idea of who their adversaries were, especially during the times of war. But, their academics, students and political institutions are lagging behind in perceiving and addressing the current challenge, the academic opined.

The so-called peace-building funds coming from the Western countries are being deployed to commit Educational Mu'l'livaaykkaal. The motive is multi-dimensional and range from counter-insurgency and geopolitics to the various programmes of pacification targeting Tamil diaspora for assimilation into the host cultures.

The pattern is visible when watching the discourse from the Science Faculty of the Jaffna University, the academic further said.

“We have to withstand the challenge with the same spirit as that demonstrated by those faced Mu'l'ivaaykkaal in 2009.”

Providing details of various scholarship programmes and the missions involved in the plans, the academic urged investigative journalists to explore the modus operandi of these programmes.

“Our people clearly understand the Sinhalicisation programme coming from the South. But, they often fail to grasp the interests-oriented projects sustaining and promoting the very same Sinhalicisation programme. These programmes effectively disable Tamils from countering the Sinhalicisation. “This is not empowerment. This is Educational Mu'l'livaaykkaal,” the academic further said.

The Science Faculty is particularly exposed to these designs, the academic said pointing out the present controversy over a move by some Sinhala students to forcibly erect a Buddha statue at Vavuniyaa campus. The campus remains closed for educational activities until May 21st due to the conflict.

The campus administration had instructed the students to vacate the hostel premises on April 23 to avoid the controversy from worsening into a clash between the students belonging to various communities.

Already, more than 80 percent of the students at the Vavuniyaa campus of the University of Jaffna are enrolled from the South. The education is taking place in English medium. The campus administration is under the University of Jaffna, where most of the academics are Tamil-speaking.

The influx of Sinhala students from the South, particularly after 2009, is viewed as a move to Sinhalicise the educational institutions of Eezham Tamils.

Only a few of the Sinhala students were involved in creating the recent controversy, a source at the campus told TamilNet this week.

To be specific, the administration of the campus identifies four Sinhala students as the visible culprits of the move to forcibly erect a Buddha statue.

The four students didn't engage in any dialogue with the management of the campus before they brought in a fitting manufactured in aluminium and hardboard. The fitting looks like the ones used by the Sinhala soldiers.

The campus administration had already demarcated places of worship for all the religions within the premises.

“There are plans to construct places of worships for all the religions as part of the master plan for future constructions covering 160 acres of the campus land. The student organisations are well aware of this,” an administrative-rank academic at the campus told TamilNet.

On 21st April, this group of four brought in the fitting. The security staff at the campus alerted the administration and the head of administration talked to the group and subsequently instructed the students to hand over the fitting to the custody of the administration so that the fitting could be considered for placement at a proper venue without evoking protests from the students from other communities.

Initially, the four students agreed and handed over the fitting structure. But, later when a vehicle picked up the fitting for transportation, they started to confront the academics, staff and the driver of the car. The group also managed to influence some other Sinhala students by spreading false information against the administration.

Then, a section of the Sinhala students started to object and protest against the administration. The protesters went aggressive against the Tamil lecturers.

At this juncture, the administration got in touch with the Deputy Inspector General of SL Police in Vavuniyaa. However, one of the trouble-makers also filed a complaint against the driver of the vehicle belonging to the campus.

The administration said the DIG was initially cooperative stating that he understood the problem. But, somehow the system was also being used by those behind the move to file a lawsuit against the administration.

In the meantime, the administration handed over the fitting to the SL Police to avoid further escalation of the conflict.

There are around 1,000 students enrolled at the campus. 80% of the students are Sinhala students, 12% Tamils and 8% Tamil-speaking Muslims.

Some time back, a similar controversy of erecting a Buddha statue also cropped up at the office of District Secretariat in Vavuniyaa.

UNP wants 1000 viharas in North-East
UNP election manifesto claiming construction of 1000 viharas in North-East as ‘reconciliation’
The Vavuniyaa district in the Northern Province is bordering with the Anuradhapura district of North-Central Province. The area is prone to colonisation coming through Sinhala militarisation as well as that of the so-called ‘development’ scheme of Mahaweli, which is led by none other than Maithiripala Sirisena, the SL president who is also the minister of the Mahaweli ministry.

In the meantime, the three major political parties from the South, led by Rajapaksa, Sirisena and Wickramasinghe, have been competing against each other vowing more funds to Sinhala Buddhist viharas in Vavuniyaa.

The UNP went on record during the recent civic elections claiming that it had allocated 500 million rupees to erect 1,000 Buddhist places of worship in the North-East. The propaganda was widely circulated in Vavuniyaa.

It is under these circumstances, the Jaffna University Student Union, led by Tamil students, has taken an active stakeholder role in marking Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance.



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