Tamil undergrads in the Trincomalee Campus of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL) are coming under continuous physical attack by Sinhalese students who have now become the majority of the campus in the country of Eezham Tamils. Attacks on ‘minority’ Tamil undergrads are being carried out with the hidden agenda of the chauvinist administration of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to convert the EUSL as fully fledged Sinhala campus, Tamil academic sources say.
EUSL headquarters is situated in Batticaloa. Two faculties one for Siddha Medicine and other for Communication and Management are in the Trincomalee campus of the EUSL. Lectures are being conducted in the two faculties according to the wishes of the majority Sinhalese students, disregarding Tamil students’ needs, sources say.
Only twenty five Tamil undergrads are currently enrolled for studies against Sinhalese undergrads numbering between 200 and 240. Affected Tamil undergrads say that the Campus administration is not bothered about their complaints.
According to affected undergrads two of them were attacked by Sinhalese students on October 27 and were admitted at the Trincomalee general hospital. But on October 31 some more Tamil students have been attacked by the Sinhalese.
Hostel for Trincomalee campus students is situated in the heart of Trincomalee town and the campus is at Nilaave’li, about twelve km away from the town. Transport is provided by the campus administration for the students to travel to campus from their hostel in Trincomalee town to attend classes.
On Wednesday, Oct 31, when the students as usual left the hostel in the bus provided by the campus administration, a photograph of Lord Buddha pasted in the bus was found torn on that day. A group of Sinhalese undergrads immediately started assaulting their Tamil counterparts in the bus for the damage to Lord Buddha’s picture without questioning the driver and the conductor of the bus.
Campus administration did not taken any action against the Sinhalese students even after the affected students had made a complaint. Tamil students say this was due to the political influence of Sinhalese students in the campus. But affected parties have made complaints to the police.
Tamil undergrads have expressed fear in attending classes in the campus due to the highhanded action of their Sinhala counterparts with political backing and have not returned to the campus hostel in Trincomalee since the attack.