June 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today strongly condemned "with disgust" the attack on students of the Ruhuna University yesterday allegedly by the supporters of the government politicians.
Addressing a media briefing this morning at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said the government politicians breaking into universities to attack students is a serious situation and demanded the government to immediately stop student repression it is carrying out.
"We, as the JVP, condemn this vile act with disgust. Legal action should be taken against all those who were involved in this attack," Silva said.
A group of around 500 people armed with clubs forcibly entered the Ruhuna University Monday afternoon and attacked the students for not allowing the Deyata Kirula exhibition to be held in the university premises. Eight students were reportedly injured in the attack.
The University administration has decided today (June 03) to close the University indefinitely.
The General Secretary of the JVP said the attack aimed at the students of Ruhuna University yesterday is another instance of the student suppression continuously carried out by the government.
He charged that a Deputy Minister and several provincial councilors are behind the attack.
The JVP General Secretary accused the government of suppressing not just the university students but all those who carry out struggles demanding their rights by using police personnel favorable to the government or gangs of thugs it maintains.
He alleged that although the government tried to show the attack on Ruhuna students was a conflict between students and villagers, it was a planned attack by the government.
The government had earlier decided to hold Deyata Kirula exhibition at Ruhuna University premises. However, students and the academic staff of the University vehemently opposed it.
The organizer of the mega development exhibition, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya recently announced that the venue will be changed to a location in near the Kamburugamuwa hospital complex in the planned new city of Matara.
He denied the change of venue was due to the students' opposition but said the decision to shift the exhibition was taken to prevent Matara - Hambantota road being closed for several days and as there is no alternative route.
The JVP charged that Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya and several PC councilors have however started attacking students saying they had not allowed the exhibition to be held at the university.
Further the Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake has publicly threatened the students and their parents, the JVP said.
"The government has come down to the level of attacking university students, working masses and also Members of Parliament. This should be defeated. A country cannot go forward like this," the JVP politician said.
The party demanded the government to hold a comprehensive investigation regarding the incident and reopen the University immediately for the students to conduct their studies.
He said the threatening acts by the government are not limited to the students. There is a terror process carried out against university lecturers as well, he added.
The JVP General Secretary asked the people who cherish democracy to come forward to defeat the government that has "cast aside, law and order, justice and morality to attack masses and moving towards fascism."