‘Names of dons who spoke against Deyata Kirula at Senate meeting were leaked to thugs’
The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday asked the government to stop harassing its members following a recent goon attack on the Ruhuna University students or face a countrywide strike. Addressing a media conference at the Faculty Club of the Colombo University, FUTA President Chandragupta Thenuwara said that the government sponsored thugs had attacked the vehicle of a lecturer of the Ruhuna University during the protest on Monday, demanding that Deyata Kirula exhibition be held within the university premises.
He said that another lecturer of the Jaffna University had also been questioned by the CID recently.
“All those acts are a threat to the university autonomy and unnecessary interference in university matters,” Thenuwara said.
Dr. Upul Abeyratne of the Ruhuna University Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty said he was leaving the university when a group of people protesting opposite the university on Monday attacked his car.
A thug who was under the influence of liquor had shouted that he (Dr. Abeyratne) had, at a Senate meeting, opposed the holding of the Deyata Kirula exhibition and the mob had attacked the vehicle, Dr. Abeyratne said. “They also tried to harm me, but I managed to escape.”
That incident had proved that the details of lecturers against Deyata Kirula exhibition had been leaked to government sponsored thugs, Dr. Abeyratne said.
He said he had reported Monday’s incident and subsequent threats to the Vice Chancellor and the University Security Division besides lodging a complaint with the police.
Former FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, Dr. Jinasena Hewage of the Ruhuna Science Faculty, lecturers Dr. P. Edirisinghe, Upali Pannilage and Chandika Gunasinghe from the Ruhuna University also attended the media conference.
By Dasun Edirisinghe
President & Southern PC councilors responsible for assault led by cricket thug – FUTA
Members of Southern Provincial Council and the President are responsible for the conflict situation that was created in University of Ruhuna, a cricket thug and several provincial councilors broke into the University complex and assaulted students and the government is engaged in an exercise to set one against the other states the President of the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) Dr. Chandraguptha Thenuwara.
Speaking at a media conference held in Colombo on the 6th the Head of the Art History Department at University of the Visual & Performing Arts said normally when students hold a protest or an agitation the police move in to the scene at least an hour earlier. However, during the incident that occurred at University of Ruhuna the police did not make an appearance even after the incident.
When taking decisions regarding universities agreements are reached. However, there was no such agreement regarding holding ‘Dayata Kirula’ exhibition at University of Ruhuna and the administration had taken a straight decision said Dr. Thenuwara.
Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of University of Ruhuna Dr. Upul Abeyratna who was assaulted by a gang of thugs led by Sanath Jayasooriya on 2nd June also spoke at the media conference.
He said ‘Dayata Kirula’ exhibition was shifted away from University of Ruhuna not because of opposition to it from the University but because the road to Tangalle would have to be closed down for a long period. He said Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had pointed out that the development of an alternative route would cost a large sum.
He said despite some attempt to show that he was assaulted by villagers, he knows the villagers well and added that he was assaulted by thugs brought down from other areas.
A leader of the Independent Students Union, the student movement sponsored by the government, had threatened him and he was assaulted the day after he pointed out the harm the University complex would be subjected to if the exhibition was held there. He said information has been received that names of four other lecturers have been made available for thugs to take action.
The Senior Lecturer of Humanities and Social Sciences of University of Ruhuna Chandidka Gunasinghe, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Economics at University of Ruhuna Upali, Senior Lecturer of University of Ruhuna Dr. Ms. J. Edirisinghe, Senior Lecturer Jinasena Hewage and former President of FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri were present.