Posted on September 15th, 2022


The university rag carried out by the JVP contained a strong element of sexual harassment, sadism and torture.The ragging was described as ‘inhuman’. There was cruel, inhumane ragging amounting to torture and verging on sadism, said commentators. The university ragging has a sadistic streak, they added. There was gratification of sadistic tendencies.  It was reported that plastic tubes were inserted into the rectums of four students.

These ragging activities of the JVP are now in the public domain.  Angry, indignant undergrads have gone on television to report the matter. The information given in this essay including explicit words used, are taken from discussions which took place on television, You Tube and newspapers.

Daily Mirror said that it has shown the extent of the physical, sexual, mental and verbal ragging prevalent in State universities, through accounts we received from lecturers, parents and students of the Colombo University, Sabaragamuwa University, Ruhuna University and the Rajarata University.” 

In the case of male entrants the ragging was of a strongly sexual nature. Even the nicknames given to the male students, in their ‘Card’ were of a sexual nature. Male undergrads stated that they had to listen to obscene words related to sex organs.    They were forced to watch pornographic material. They were forced to expose private parts of the body   and carry out degrading, obscene sexual acts.

The male undergrads who went public all complained about nudity. At Rajarata a male fresher complained that he was stopped on the road when he was walking back from university and asked to undress, which he had refused to do.    They had to do pushups, half squat, crawl, while naked.  We were asked to strip naked and bathe with dirty water brought in buckets. A student has been stripped naked and bathed with mud on his birthday. They force us to appear nude and perform inhuman activities, undergrads said.

There was sexual harassment of the male freshers. All male undergrads who went public   emphasized this and gave explicit details. They said that male freshers were subject to serious physical ragging of a sexual nature. They were subject to forced sexual acts without consent said complainants.  They were subject to unpleasant sexual experiences.  The raggers were well organized   and the ragging was systematic, they said. 

It is the custom to bring us, clad in sarongs, in the night to a room in the hostel. On entering the room we are forced to remove the sarongs. In order to drown the noise made by the students                               regarding this, loud music was played. Later it became mandatory that we came naked to this room. The seniors as well as students in our group begin examining our genitals and forced us to masturbate in their presence. Refusal means you are subjected to severe assaulting. There is no fan in this room and students sweat throughout these acts, said victimized undergrads, when interviewed by Daily Mirror.

Undergraduate Darsha Udayanga spoke to the media in 2019. Here is an incident that happened in Room no. 114 at the Meddawatte Hostel at Ruhuna University, Darsha said. They were asleep, 10 of them on four beds. Late in the night a group of raggers came calling us ‘malliye’ in a weird tone. I was asleep and when I woke up none of my roommates were there. .” (https://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features/University-ragging-intensifies-)

The raggers had woken him up. They had carried him out of the room, like carrying a ‘mini pettiya’, stripped him and squeezed his private parts. I was helpless and I was so scared that I couldn’t even scream. Then they put us on a bed and one of them got on to my backside and later only I realized what they had done. They had taken a condom, put it on a pole and pressed it onto my butt. Then they put that condom into our mouths as well. They told us this later.

We were then put into a common room which held the others who had been subject to the same treatment earlier.  There were 35 or 40 of us, all shocked and scared, seated on benches. All of us were naked. This group had been yelling, and it was to muffle this that they had been calling “Malli Mali.  Later on, Ruhunu University announced that the authorities had found 2 buckets of used condoms. How did they get all these condoms, asked undergrads.

The sexual ragging consists of several rituals. These are given Sinhala names.    They are all related to the penis, said undergrads. One is ‘Bonchi kadeema’ where two males have to stand facing each other, naked and touch each other’s sexual organs. We have to put it up and down until they ask us to stop. . The penis cannot rise. If it does they assault. Darsha Udayanga showed a photograph of one of the organizers of the rag and said that this individual had openly enjoyed watching bonchi kadana rag.

Another rag was called ‘puk kapu allanawa’ where we have to do something like catching bugs with our private parts. In ‘Puk meeyo allanawa’ you had to go where they tell you and try to catch mosquitoes with the private parts.

In ‘Rajasinghe amudey’ our private parts are dressed as in an amude. We then have to repeat a verse containing utter obscenities,  thanikara kunu harupa”. We had to repeat it word for word. Can’t get even one word wrong. If we miss a word they would hit us. I had to say it about 20 twenty times, said one undergrad. We have to repeat a load of shit on Rajasinha  without making a single mistake, said another  undergrad. We  also had to listen as the others spoke their lines. The ritual took about 3 or 4 hours for all to finish.

In another rag our eyes were bound with other peoples sarongs, not our own. I could not bear the smell of those sarongs, said an undergrad. We were otherwise naked. The raggers stroked us with a leaf, then they started to hit us. ( https://youtu.be/ve_eGcf67ac)

The  extreme  sexual ragging took place mainly in the hostels.  Undergrads  complained publicly  that they were stripped and   subject to inhuman torture , in the hostel from 10 p.m. to dawn, nonstop. From 10 pm  to  dawn, we are nude, they said. A new lot came  to rag us, at dawn.

At Rajarata the seniors came to the boys’ dormitory at 12 a.m. and ragged them till 3 a.m. in one instance they had been asked to act as if they were in blue films. One person had to play music while another pretends to be videoing it,’  Elsewhere freshers were shown  a photo of a woman and made to masturbate .

There was also torture. At University of Ruhuna the Students Union which had control of the canteen had built  a torture chamber above it  with iron doors which were kept locked. No academic  visited the canteen. The raggers had seen to that. They made academics feel uncomfortable  when they came in for a cup of tea and stopped them from using the canteen. Authorities had not  gone near it for 15  years  either. Students were taken to this chamber and sexually abused. In 2019,  Ruhuna University Vice Chancellor Prof Sujeewa Amarasena had taken action to  open  up the torture chamber and terminate the ragging there. This received much publicity and great applause.

Female students did not escape sexual harassment. There has been a limited sexual harassment of female students. There were strong women raggers. During ragging we are forbidden to wear brassieres. Senior female students examine us  said female freshers..   

 One undergrad spoke of Dasakala Abhisehkaya’ which is done inside a room where the walls are decorated with drawings of male and female figures. They insist that we perform some acts with the male figures on the walls.

After the canteen rag, I went to the wash room, said a  female undergrad.  A group of raggers saw me going and started yelling at me for no reason. Since, I was wearing a T-shirt instead of a blouse with my skirt, a ragger came up to me and said that he could see everything underneath my shirt. I truly felt disgusted. After I came out from the wash room, he once again reminded me that he could see everything underneath my clearly opaque shirt. We cannot even go to the washroom in peace. ( Continued)

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