End Ragging and Violence at State Universities, Sri Lanka!

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I am writing this as the mother of a freshman student at a state university, appalled by the recent acts of violence that has taken place. Sri Lankan universities have recorded violence and hostility in various forms including ragging over the past decades. While the new government has implemented praiseworthy actions to curb the situation with the use of the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act, No. 20 of 1998 which bans and criminalizes all forms of ragging, physical intimidation, unlawful confinement and many more acts of violence, it has become clear more stringent measures need to be placed to solve the issue.

Last week culture of violence at universities had led to damage of public property at the University of Kaleniya while yesterday, 9/3/2020 we heard the heartbreaking news about the first year student (name withheld) of the University of Sri Jayawaradanapura who as of the time of this writing is in critical condition due to an alleged act of physical violence. Although we are not certain of the whole story behind the incident and whether it was an act of malicious intent, a mistake or a provoked act related to ragging or personal grudges, we first urge the government to review the situation and serve justice duly and quickly. 

As a mother and a responsible citizen, I share the fear of those who must send their child to the university on a daily basis, nevertheless of the risk of exposure to violence including and excluding ragging, that is rampant in universities. Thus, we request the government to carry out a more stringent mechanism to alleviate violence in the universities and uphold peace and humane treatment conducive to an educational atmosphere for students.

Thushari Hewapathirana

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