Protest campaign against military presence in universities todayJanuary 1, 2013, 7:51 pm
by Maheesha Mudugamuwa
Sri Lanka National Union of Students (SLNUS) will launch a new campaign against alleged military interference in the university premises today (02).
SLNUS Secretary Asanka Bulegoda told The Island that they would start the campaign by distributing leaflets at the Fort Railway Station this morning to educate the public.
He said that the government was continuing its project to militarise the universities and they would stop it at any cost.
"As the first step, the government handed over the university security to the Defence Ministry’s Rakna Lanka Security firm," Bulegoda said adding that undergraduates were seeing the consequences now.
Consequent to deploying the Defence Ministry’s security guards in universities, Army personnel entered the Jaffna University recently and harassed students, he said.
Bulegoda urged the government to put an immediate halt to any further arrests, acts of intimidation, harassment and reprisals carried out by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the police and Army against university students.
He stressed that the police presence in the university premises disrupted student activities including cultural programmes, awareness programmes and forming of student unions, which was endorsed by the University Act.
"We will deliver leaflets as our first step of a series of protests," Bulegoda said adding that they were currently discussing with other student unions on launching a collective protest against the militarisation of universities.
According to him, the aim of today’s awareness campaign was to make the public aware of the present situation in the universities with the military presence.
Bulegoda also requested the public to join their agitation to stop the harassment of undergraduates.
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Last Updated Jun 17 2013 | 07:01 pm