The National University Teachers Association (NUTA) requests Sri Lankan academics resident overseas to return and serve their motherland instead of criticizing it from afar.
Posted on March 17th, 2018

The National University Teachers Association (NUTA)

Issuing a media statement in response to an article, titled, “Sri Lankan academics abroad condemn violence against Muslim community” in The Island on 14th March, the NUTA has said:

“National University Teachers Association (NUTA) of Sri Lanka is appalled by the statement issued by a group purported to be Sri Lankan academics in North American and British Universities and Colleges, condemning the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists for the attacks supposed to be on Muslims. If this is a statement by a group of academics, NUTA cannot but be surprised by the venom expressed in it against the Sinhala nationalists. It is not different from a statement issued by politicians accusing their opponents. Has the group of academics done adequate research to convince themselves that attackers were only Sinhala Buddhist nationalists and the victims were only Muslims.

“Even if the attackers had been a few Sinhala Buddhist elements the group shouldn’t have blamed the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists. NUTA does not approve of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS)/Mahason Balakaya or the ISIS for that matter, but does the enlightened group of academics have evidence to blame the BBS for the attacks? The police may have raided the Mahason Balakaya office in Digana, but then the police have also found arms in other places supposed to be sacred.

“The group refers to LTTE attacks on Muslims but is silent on the attacks on the Sinhala people including the Bhikkus at various places, and places of worship such as Sri Maha Bodhi and Dalada Maligawa. The group claims that the majoritarian attacks on the Muslims living in the South and the East have escalated. What concrete evidence they have to substantiate these allegations?

“The intention of the group is clear. It wants to discredit the Sinhala Buddhists in the eyes of the West without mentioning their suffering. The statement is unacademic to say the least, but NUTA does not question the credentials of the group. Instead, NUTA invites them to take cognisance of hate speech against the Muslims by the politicians in the countries where they have found greener pastures, and undertake a study on ‘equality of various nationalities’ living in those countries.

“At the same time we invite Sri Lankan Academics in North American and British Universities to come to Sri Lanka and serve their country as National University system suffers with huge shortage of academics.”

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