Jaffna University VC gags academics speaking to media
Calling the Teachers’ Associations and talking to them in an intimidating way, the Colombo-appointed Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Prof Vasanthi Arasaratnam warned them sternly against speaking to media on the affairs of the university and on the issue of re-opening it. The VC cited directives from the defence establishment of occupying Sri Lanka in gagging the academics, heads of departments and the teachers’ unions. While the academics are enraged over the role played by the VC, the students of the university observing boycott are individually harassed and intimidated everyday by the occupying Sinhala military that calls them to the camps and visits their residences in coercing them to drop the boycott.
Secretary to the genocidal defence establishment and presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa reiterates often that the student leaders in detention and undergoing ‘rehabilitation’ programme of the SL military would not be released, but students should return to classes without making any demand.
The Education Secretary Mr. Dissanayake, meeting representatives of the university said that the students will be released but he can’t say when.
Gotabhaya controls every SL government department, informed circles said.
The students union decided not to drop the boycott without the release of the student leaders who were arrested after the university student community silently paid homage to those who laid down their lives for the cause of Tamil liberation, on the Heroes Day on 27 November.
The SL government conducted almost a mini military operation in entering the student hostels on 27th and in attacking the silently protesting demonstrators on 28th November. Following, it targeted student leaders and activists in arresting and detaining them under ‘terrorism’ charges.
In making the Tamil students and the faculty to be totally submissive to whatever the occupying government is doing, Rajapaksa regime wants to prove the effectiveness of genocide and structural genocide as successful means of contemporary statecraft, political observers in Jaffna said.
The university students and Eezham Tamil politicians appealed to the so-called International Community and Tamil Nadu.
The powers that were in complicity with the genocidal means of the State and regime of Sri Lanka have vested interests in keeping silence. Their responses to the university issue will be carefully perused by the Tamil youth generation in shaping its future attitudes towards them, university student activists commented.
Meanwhile, the university may resume next week or by mid January, sources close to the administration campaign. They also cite that the first year exams have to be conducted by mid January. Parents in the South are worried about the education of the 300 odd Sinhala students now studying at the Jaffna University, the sources cite.
There is a shade of opinion among a section of the student activists that the boycott, by confining the students at home, is hampering their mobilization and a continuous struggle that has to be waged.
Students also cite the atmosphere around the university campus that is found almost seized by all kinds of occupying forces of Sri Lanka.
SL police claims that it has closed the number of armed checkpoints it has created around the campus in recent times. But students say hundreds of plain-clothe personnel of the SL military intelligence, military and police hover around the university campus and some of them are present inside the campus as well.