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LSU demands justice for wronged undergraduates of Peradeniya University

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The Law Student Union (LSU) of the Sri Lanka Law College expressing its solidarity with the Law undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya demands that authorities immediately investigate the recent violent incidents at the university and ensure that justice will prevail.

A statement signed by President of the LSU Osura Vindula and LSU General Secretary Senel Ratnayake says: The Law Student Union (LSU) of the Sri Lanka Law College is deeply concerned by the recent events that had taken place in the University of Peradeniya and vehemently condemn such acts of violence while strongly believing that no violence, either physical or verbal should be allowed to stand. We clearly condemn the acts of such wrongdoers and believe that such wrongdoers who do not uphold moral standards, values while contravening the law must be brought under the light of justice.

As per reports on the incident in question, a mob of violent students have assaulted 12 students who were dining peacefully at the ‘Gemba’ canteen premises at the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, while four students who retained physical injuries consequent to the assault had been hospitalized. It is believed that this premeditated attack was made on the law students at the University of Peradeniya, who had supported and has actively implemented a strict no-ragging policy. Hence this was an attack on the diligent effort put forward by the students to create a violence-free/no-ragging environment.

Ragging had been and still is a subject of great discussion over the nation since a couple of decades earlier, and this matter was addressed with the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No.20 of 1998 which strictly prohibits the practice of violence or any form of ragging. By section 2(1) thereof, any person who commits or participates in ragging, within and/or outside, an educational institution shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Further, it is a non-bailable offence under the said Act, and a gross violation of the Fundamental Rights enshrined under the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka.

The LSU stands with the Faculty of Law, University of Peradeniya as we believe that these students are innocent and have stood up for justice. Every individual has the right to liberty and security. All persons have dignity. No person has the right and ability to commit violence, and if done so, it must be addressed as per the Law of this land. Education should not only be limited to books. Real education is where one is filled with compassion, ability to understand a person, ability to accept people for who they are. University undergraduates must not engage in such blatant and gross acts of violence hiding behind the name of equality and equity.

We urge the relevant authorities of law, and esteemed panels of higher education authorities and institutions to investigate the matter diligently and with utmost attention and take necessary measures against such violence. These violent students have clearly violated the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No.20 of 1998. Hence we respectfully request and believe that this matter will be given the utmost attention as this is a clear abuse of the Law of the nation.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum – Let justice be done though the heavens fall!



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Six member committee appointed to inquire into Sri Lanka Cricket Team’s conduct in Australia

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Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe has appointed a six member committee headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena to inquire into the incidents reported against some members of the Sri Lanka Cricket team that participated at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

 

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SJB MP: Most parents have to choose between food and children’s education

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By Saman Indrajith

Most Sri Lankan parents are compelled to choose between food for their families and their children’s eduction, SJB Matale District MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathne told Parliament yesterday.

Only a few parents were able to feed and educate their children the MP said, participating in the debate on Budget 2023 under the expenditure heads of Ministries of Education and Women and Child Affairs.

“An 80-page exercise book costs Rs. 200. A CR book costs Rs 560. A pencil or pen costs Rs 40. A box of colour pencils costs Rs 570 while a bottle of glue costs Rs 150. If the father is a daily wage earner he has to spend one fourth of his salary on a box of colour pencils for his child. A satchel now costs around Rs 4,000. A pair of school shoes is above Rs 3,500. The Minister of Education knows well how many days a child could use an 80-page exercise book for taking notes. Roughly, stationery cost is around Rs 25,000 to 30,000 per child, MP Wijerathne said, adding that only Rs. 232 billion had been allotted for the Ministry of Education by Budget 2023.

“After paying salaries of teachers and covering officials’ expenses, etc., there will be very little left for other important matters,” the MP said, noting that Sri Lanka would soon be known as the country that made the lowest allocation of funds for education in the South Asian region.

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All crises boil down to flaws in education system, says Dullas

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By Saman Indrajith

All the crises Sri Lanka was beset with were due to the country’s outdated education system, MP Dullas Alahapperuma told Parliament yesterday.

“The political and economic crisis we are facing is the direct result of our education,” he said.

The Sri Lankan education system had not changed with global developments. Our system is not even geared for employment. Our examination system is antiquated and our classrooms are in the 19th Century.

However, the students belong to the 21st century. How can you cater to 21st Century children under an outdated system?” he queried.

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