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Colombo defies court request, proceeds with obligatory military course to undergrads

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:31 No Comment]

Defying SL Supreme Court request to provide one week time for it to consider a case filed by University students associations against a compulsory military training programme for the newly selected undergrads, the Rajapaksa regime proceeded with the programme on Sunday. The excuse of Colombo was that it had already spent money on the programme and students had already started traveling to the military centers announced by the SL government.

The compulsion on all new entries to the universities to go through the hands of the genocidal military of Sri Lanka is a symbolic act marking the stage where militarisation of state now becomes militarisation of the society, commented media circles in Colombo.

Besides militarisation of state and society, the ‘training’ programme is a particular intimidation and a show aiming at subjugation of the student generations of the nation of Eezham Tamils, is the opinion of Tamil university students.

Whether the programme means allowing the Army to rag the university students first, questions the university students in the South.

Meanwhile, the Muslim religious associations in the island have raised the concern that girls and boys should be separated in such training programmes. They also have said that such programmes should be conducted outside of the military camps and Muslim students should be provided with Halal food and time to observe their prayers.

The universities in the island currently enjoy good reputation in getting international accreditation for their degrees. Such obligatory militarisation of education will affect the image of the university degrees of the island, commented an academic of a reputed university in the island.

Some western countries while issuing visas ask a question whether the applicant has undergone any military training any time in the past, and this is a negative point in issuing visas.

According to the Lankadeepa newspaper, the Speaker in Sri Lanka parliament had not permitted UNP MP John Amaratunga to make a speech against the proposed military training of university students which resulted in even UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and other UNP MPs protesting against the proposed controversial move. TNA MPs also joined the protest against the SL government move to give military training to university students.

SL Parliament proceedings were interrupted, following the protest by UNP and TNA MPs, who had been holding posters, displaying their opposition to the move.

[Full Coverage]

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