20 students fall victims, four held hostage after mini battle in Kelaniya varsity
by Saman Indrajith
Three undergraduates were attacked while they were on their way to examination centres on Monday morning, sources said. Since last Friday more than 20 students became victims of the mini battles that took place inside the university and four students were believed to be held hostage inside the library building by pro-JVP undergrad activists.
Pro-JVP elements who have power in the Students Council had attacked their colleagues last Friday following an altercation on the commemorating undergraduates who were killed during years of 1986-1990.
"The JVPers launched a sudden attack on the members of the Sishya Sahayogita Padanama (SSP-Students Co-operative Foundation) inside the toilets of the Gymnasiumís canteen since they did not support the Viru Sisu Dinaya (Student Heroesí Day) which marked the JVP student activists who were killed during the 1986-1990 period. This led to clashes that continued for the past three days. Since Saturday evening four members of the SSP are held hostage inside the library building by the pro JVP students. Earlier they had released the President of the Management Faculty Students who was blindfolded and held inside the same building. He had been attacked by unidentified persons," he said.
The students involved in the clashes were said to have been armed with razors, clubs, bricks and bottles filled with sand, he said.
The Convenor of the pro-JVP InteróUniversity Students Federation, Ravindra Mudalige counter alleged that two of their members were wounded by pro-government student activists. "One of our members were abducted on Saturday night and was later found with wounds inflicted by sharp weapons. He had been admitted to Colombo General Hospital and doctors had administered 30 stitches on the wounds. Another member had been slashed with a razor, he is now receiving treatment at Ragama Teaching Hospital," Mudalige said.
He said that they made complaints to the police but no action or arrests have been made so far. "Some of our members were attacked in the presence of policemen," he lamented.
University authorities were at a meeting with student representatives to find measures to quell the situation in the university while the policemen were on alert in several places inside the university premises since Friday afternoon. The university top brass and some lecturers speculated that the university would be closed indefinitely and will be declared out of bounds for the students later in the day.
"We have taken additional security measures to ensure the safety of the students of the Science Faculty whose examinations are being held now. Examinations for other faculties will commence on July 07," said the Dean of the Social Science Faculty, Prof. Sarath Amunugama.
"Minor clashes are still going on. We have taken special measures like heavy deployment of police teams for the safety of students coming for the examinations. But we receive some reports that still clashes are going on at several places in and around the university," Prof. Amunugama said.
Meanwhile, Jayawardenepura Universityóbased University Students Organisation yesterday condemned the JVPís involvement in disrupting the academic process and its attempts to close down the universities. "Just several months after they had taken a life of an anti-JVP activists, the JVPers have begun their Fascist politics inside the universities. They have two ulterior motives in this attempt. One to attack their opponents and to create mayhem and to get the university closed. So that they can show the outside world that our university system is in crisis," he said.
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