The National University Teachers' Association (NUTA) today registered their protest with the Jaffna university authorities over the involvement of undergraduates in the so-called ‘Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day” observances.
NUTA Secretary Prof. Channa Jayasumana asked Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Ratnam Vigneswaran not to allow racist politicians to exploit the university students for their ends.
“While the general population of Jaffna was mostly uninvolved, the Jaffna University students were acting like the unofficial private army of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran and transgressing the law of the country by commemorating members of a banned terrorist organization. People in the South hold intelligent youth of the Northern peninsula in high esteem. However, their recent behaviour showed that they are being misguided by crafty racist politicians such as C.V. Vigneswaran, who himself never studied in the North. Not a single member of the Chief Minister’s family has studied in the North. He is sending the intelligent youth of the north and east to the dungeon while his family members are safe abroad or in Colombo. Our understanding is that the recent incidents create an unsavoury picture about the Jaffna University among the majority of Sinhala and Muslim people in the country. The end of the internal armed conflict widened the path for the young people in the North and East to obtain university education. Otherwise they would be conscripted by the terrorists and living in a bunker, suffering immense difficulties, under the command of a thug. Those misguided youths should be thankful to the political leadership and Sri Lankan forces that ended the armed conflict and made it possible for them to reap the benefits of higher education freeing them from the battlefront.
We observe that greedy politicians are pushing the misguided youth to another reckless programme. Further, we feel that they are abandoning the golden opportunities presented to them by the people of Sri Lanka. We do hope that you would take our letter seriously and discuss this matter with senior responsible academics in the University, offer guidance to Jaffna University students and teach them reconciliation and harmony,” he said in his statement.