Kotelawala Defence University Bill Must Be Passed. The Nation Needs It
Posted on July 12th, 2021

Dilrook Kannangara

There are usual protests and disruption by the disruptive cabal against the progressive Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Bill. These are the elements that always disrupt Sri Lanka’s progress and hinder equal rights to citizens. They rely on twisted logic that free education” equals only government provided education and no other education”.

Free education was never meant to monopolize education. Instead, it was introduced to compete with paid education and allow those who could not afford paid education, a pathway to education.

Imposing free education or no education” is inhuman, violates fundamental rights, driven by jealousy and regressive. Anyone should be able to gain education by paying for it. The state must look beyond the dysfunctional free university system (ranked very poor in the world due to the quality of graduates they produce today) to create a mechanism to produce worthy professionals who support the nation. With very limited resources in comparison, KDU has rendered a yeoman service to the nation in the fields of defence, medicine, engineering, construction, etc. It makes perfect sense to invest in the KDU and provide all that is needed for its progress.

Then there is the age-old question of private medical colleges. Sri Lanka is the only country in the world (with universities) that does not have private medical colleges. Petty jealousy and mafia business of a section of the society denies the right to education of others. National policy must not pander into jealousy of a rotten section of the society! Surely Sri Lanka can do better than this.

The funniest part is the absence of any serious fundamental rights case at the Supreme Court against the KDU Bill. If it is so bad, it must be in violation of at least one law of the country! The truth is it is as harmless as the free education bill almost a century ago.

The participation of certain Tamil elements brings a racist tint to the protest as well. Racism is not a valid concern in any decent court of law. There is no militarization of education. Military personnel are also entitled to education. Only tribal racists deny that right who must not be entertained in a civilised society.

The so called educationalists and teachers are setting a very bad an uneducated example to others by disregarding pandemic laws and codes of behaviour.

President Gotabaya’s government must push on with the KDU Bill. All right thinking and progressive people must support it. The island nation needs far many professionals and many more tertiary education centres than it has. This is a progressive move that failed since the 1980s as past leader were hung up on short term politics. President Gotabaya must push on and get the Bill passed. Future generations of Sri Lankans will thank, if not venerate him for it.

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