POHOTTU AS USA’ S PROXY Part 8Mc
Posted on September 19th, 2022

KAMALIKA PIERIS

The university rag” was carried out by the senior students who are instructed by the Student Unions, who in turn are led by the Inter University Federation of Students (IUFS)  which is controlled by the JVP. The leaders were elusive, observed critics.  The seniors who rag are invariably connected to the Students’ Union confirmed academics. Everything is done by the Students Union, said Vice Chancellor of Ruhuna, Prof Amarasena speaking in 2019.

JVP first concentrates on getting control of the Student Union in a university. Before 1977, there were many political parties in the union but now it is dominated by one party, the JVP. There were physical clashes between JVP and   UNP in Peradeniya student union elections of 1982.  JVP does not allow other parties to function said informants in 2007.Vice Chancellor University of Ruhuna stated in 2019 that in the past, Students Union had representatives of all parties. Now all the seats got to the winning group. None for the rest.

Student unions control access to the university hostels. Hostels are the breeding ground for JVP cadres. There is no one to check what is happening in them said critics. In Kelaniya the Union did not want a protective fence built around the hostel.

The Union decides who should be in the hostel and cram 7 or 8 students into one room.   Hostellers were selected depending on their loyalty to JVP. Hostels are politically aligned. Telawala hostel n University of Colombo was pro JVP in 2007. Hostels were also used as safe houses for people engaged in political activities.

All photos in all universities are done by one company with payoffs to people in the SU, said an informant in 2007. Having the batch photo” is one way of making money for student activists. Those critical of the Union are not allowed to appear in the batch photo..

The Students Unions are not seen in a favorable light. SC is more interested in political problems and not about genuine student problems said critics  also there is no transparency in financial dealings.  JVP resists any attempts to enforce transparency, said informants. The bank accounts of the Students Union are private accounts not available to the Accounts branch of the university.

The university is easy on the matter. When the university gives a grant to the student Council, it does not demand transparency in how this money is spent.   The Council uses that money for political activities.

There is the charge of misappropriation of funds. At University of Sri Jayewardenepura, no one knows how the money collected for things like the batch photo (350 per head) is spent.  The Union also showed bogus accounts such as spending 250,000 for a torana. In 1998   the sale of tickets for heart surgery for one student brought in 8 lakhs. Student had died in the meantime and the union only had to spend for the funeral, what happened to the rest of the money asked critics.

Student Unions declare that they are against ragging, though this stance is questionable in the light of the reports received, said Daily Mirror  Critics want to know why IUSF does not get on the road and demonstrate if they are not  behind the ragging.

The Students Union has publicly declared, over and over again, that there is absolutely no ragging in the university. Undergraduates appearing on talk shows strongly contradicted this statement, and said that there was serious ragging in the university and it was the Student Union that was behind it.

Representatives of the Students union also went on television and YouTube to state their case. They said there was no ragging in the university, but were evasive and did not discuss the matter directly. They spoke of other matters.

IUSF spoke on You Tube Regarding the University of Ruhuna matter of 2019. The IUSF rejected the charge that they had run a torture chamber. It had been sealed by the earlier Vice Chancellor. The speaker did not however say whether that VC was doing torture or stopping torture. The speaker said they completely rejected the charge that they were responsible for the buckets of condoms. We say prove this, said the speaker.

The IUSF turned the attack on the  present VC, who they said was not doing what he was expected to do, which was to run the university, not poke his nose into what the IUSF was doing. VC is not looking at student problems. Students have lots of problems. We want 6% budget for education. Many are without schools today. On the other hand forget University. Hospitals also lack services and their need is greater. However IUSF stopped SAITM. The speaker did not see the contradiction.

The speaker then went on to higher matters. The country and its university were both in a bad way. The university has failed the country, instead of turning out good persons they are turning out robots.  IUSF intends to change this.

 The IUSF wants to change the country too. We are engaged in a political activity. We take whatever political position we think necessary, as governments change. IUSF is with all political parties. UNP is also in it together with JVP and FSP, concluded the speaker. (https://youtu.be/yYZT1KwUR4s)

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