Controversy over LTTE leader getting office in Eastern Campus

by Shamindra Ferdinando
Controversy surrounds a decision of the eastern university to furnish a senior LTTE leader with an office room in the university.

The Tiger identified as Avinian moved into the university situated at Vantharamoolai, Chenkalady several weeks ago, an informed source said. He was described as the one in charge of education in the area.

The source said the Tiger had been also given another room in the hostel. "Two telephones have been made available to him," the source said, adding that LTTE cadres regularly visit the university.

On a directive of the LTTE, university students recently put back an LTTE cut-out depicting a cadre with the slogan ‘the land of the heroes at the entrance to Batticaloa within 24 hours after it was removed on an order given by Minister Milinda Moragoda, the source said.

"The LTTE operates openly in the university," the source said. University authorities appeared to have reached an agreement with the LTTE regarding their activity in there, the source claimed.

The LTTE recently praevented a group of students from organising a ceremony to mourn the death of veteran politician K.W.Devanayagam, the source said. The LTTE has stressed that the group should be consulted in all activity relating to the university.

Meanwhile the university council has recommended names of three persons for the post of Vice Chancellor of the eastern university. The recommendation was made to the University Grants Commission, the source said, adding that the acting Vice Chancellor M.S.Mookiah was among them. Mookiah concluded his period as the Vice Chancellor of the eastern university on January 20th and was asked to continue till the UGC decides on a permanent appointment. An authoritative source said the of the three names the UGC will have to chose one and make a recommendation to President Chandrika Kuamratunga. "Whatever the UGCs decision the president is the final authority on such appointments," the source said, expressing the belief the president would take everything to consideration before making the appointment.