While condemning the clash at the Jaffna University, a collective of university lecturers, civil activists, artistes and the JVP allied Socialist Youth Union (SYU) today said the people should look into the incident with a broader and prudent mind considering the sensitiveness of the incident.
A clash erupted on Saturday between two Sinhala and Tamil student factions of the Jaffna University due to a cultural performance at a welcome party held for freshers at the Science Faculty. Close to 20 students were hospitalised with injuries.
The National Organiser of the SYU, Eranga Gunasekara said the politicians, social activists and journalists have a bigger role to play in order to ease the problem without dragging it into a racist hatred mentality.
He appealed to the politicians who use ‘racism’ to draw people’s attention, not to add fuel to fire.
“We have had enough problems during the thirty year bloody war. We would like to appeal especially to politicians not to act in a way the problem is intensified. It is also a responsibility of the people to be prudent in looking into the problem because no one should forget the lessons learnt from the past,” he said.
At a time attempts are being made to re-establish reconciliation among all the communities including Sinhala and Tamil, the fight took place between the students factions could cause unnecessary problems in the country, he said.
Mr. Gunasekara stated that the entire Sinhala community does not represent a few of those who maintain racist attitude as well as the Tamil community does not believe in racism as a solution for their problems.
He added that as a country having diverse cultures, beliefs and religions, all the people should respect others’ cultures and beliefs irrespective of their personal issues that they cannot be agreed with others opinions.
Speaking at the media conference, Senior Lecturer Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said the incident should not be considered as an isolated incident.
He also urged the people to think again before making any aggressive comments regarding the Jaffna University clash because such influence should not lead the past be repeated.
Lecturer Thyagaraja Varadas said the clash was only an outcome of the unanswered grievances of the Tamil community in the North which struggled with the thirty year war.
He stressed that unless the necessary intervention of the government is done in order to solve the issue, such incidents would be inevitable in the future.
Meanwhile, Attorney Namal Rajapaksha criticised the authorities of the Ministry of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages for being unable to take any measures to address the issues pertaining to the National Co-existence among the communities of the country.
President of the Young Journalists Association, Journalist Tharindu Uduwaragedara said the media should use the Jaffna University incident to enhance the necessity of re-conciliation, co-existence and unity among the communities.
“Journalists should not act according to the whims of the owners of their media institutions in reporting the stories related to the Jaffna incident. We, as journalists have a big role in changing the people’s minds to a better side that will make only good to all of us,” Uduwaragedara said.
However, the collective stated that the responsibility of the incident should be borne by the politicians who failed to address the post-war grievances of the Tamil community.
Meanwhile, the JVP allied Socialist Youth Union (SYU) has organized a Literature Week named ‘Week of Brotherhood’ at Jaffna University starting from July 23. Competitions and events will be held between Sinhala and Tamil students with the purpose of encouraging unity among them. (Piyumi Fonseka)