The Federation of Peradeniya University Teachers’ Associations (FPUTA), comprising eight sister unions, was profoundly disturbed by the report that the President of the Peradeniya Student Union (PSU), Mr. Janaka Nilanga Madushan, was threatened with his life by a group claiming to be of the CID yesterday, May 14th, 2013, at 6:30pm.
According to the statement made by Mr. Janaka Nilanga Madushan to the police, the individuals first made contact with him while he was meeting with his father in Kandy town. He was subsequently taken to an empty room above a shop where he was interrogated and told to refrain from engaging in union related activities. If not, they threatened, he would meet the same fate as `Mathalan’ (Mr. Janaka Bandara), the Kelaniya University union leader who was killed in a roadside accident last year while engaged in a protest march.
We see the reported incident as a serious threat to fostering a democratic ethos fundamental to the creation of a vibrant academic environment at the University of Peradeniya. Further, because such threats thwart social movements and activism, which are a part of any democratic society, we are concerned that they will further harm the social fabric of Sri Lanka. Finally, we are concerned about the safety of Mr. Janaka Nilanga Madushan.
In light of these concerns we ask that the university authorities and the police, who have been informed of this incident, prevent such incidents from taking place in the future and ensure that swift action is taken to investigate and charge those involved. In light of these events, we stress that it is the responsibility of the police and the authorities of the university to ensure the safety of Mr. Janaka Nilanga Madushan.