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U'grads protest against suspension of over 100 students

2013 Jul 12

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Undergraduates staged protests opposite universities yesterday against what they called the suppression by the government of the student community.

Spokesman for the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) and Convener of the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Najith Indika told The Island that undergraduates had protested opposite the Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Rajarata and Visual and Performing Arts universities.

­Ruhuna University undergraduates had conducted two demonstrations opposite the university’s main complex at Wellamadama and the Agriculture Faculty at Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, he said.

Indika said that so far the government had suspended more than 100 students of the Sabaragamuwa, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya and Peradeniya Universities. "All those students were suspended for organising protests over academic and welfare problems," he said, adding that 21 medical students, , had been suspended for holding a peaceful protest march against admitting fee paying students to the Medical Faculty.

According to Indika, police had arrested ISUF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara and Convener of the Inter University Bhikkhu Federation Ven. Kumbullewe Chandananda Thera. He said the government was trying to privatise higher education and to overcome resistance to that move by hunting down students.

Undergraduates would continue protests until the government shelved its plan to privatise education and solved the many problems the university system was faced with, Indika said.

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