President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday he had instructed the Universities and law enforcement authorities to file charges against university students implicated in ragging because the government would not allow extremist elements to destroy the future of these students.
He said though there were laws to punish those found guilty of ragging, the laws remained unused and ineffective.
“I have instructed the relevant authorities to file charges against university students who are guilty of ragging. They are not concerned about the future of their victims who are harassed and suffer mentally and physically. There are instances ragging victims commiting suicide or die from the inhumane treatment meted out by the seniors. This must be stopped once and for all,” the President said.
He said this at a ceremony to launch the construction of the Vocational Training Institute at a cost of Rs.700 million at Hingurakgoda under the ‘Pibidemu Polonnaruwa’ project.
The President said the ragging menace was instigated by a small group of extremist political elements and they have brainwashed the a few undergrads to carry out unlawful, unethical, uncivilized and inhuman ragging on other innocent undergraduates.
He said anti-ragging laws were introduced in the 1990s during the time of the then Education Minister Richard Pathirana but the succesive governments had done little or nothing to enforce those laws. "It is sad that the Peradeniya University has been closed for more than a month," the President said. (Sandun Jayasekera and K.G. Karunaratne)