POHOTTU AS USA’ S PROXY Part 8Mg
Posted on September 23rd, 2022

KAMALIKA PIERIS

Undergrads appeared on talk shows to protest against the ragging given to them. They describe the rag in detail and say how they felt .They show a deep sense of betrayal. This was not what they expected when they came eagerly to university. We did not come to university to experience this sort of thing, they complained. They are disappointed and angry. They feel betrayed by both the seniors and the university administration   . They do not see the political angle .They do not speak of the JVP.

There is no one to stand up for those who are ragged, they said. The Students Unions took the side of the raggers, not the victims. Therefore students are scared to complain or say anything against ragging.

University academic staff avoided the issue. Lecturers do not intervene when they see seniors ragging the freshers. When we complain to lecturers they say ‘just tolerate’, said undergrads at a talk show.

The undergrads feel let down by the administration, which they correctly feel should protect students. The administration knows exactly what is going on, but pretend they don’t, undergrads told the media. Despite many complaints made to the academic staff, no lecturers come to the canteen to stop the ragging.  In one instance freshers were woken up at 1 a.m. and ragged in the hostel. The staff warden, who was in a room close by, did not come to look into the matter, undergrads said. 

University administration did not take action when they complained, undergrads stated. Even when they provide evidence the administration does not investigate and no action is taken. The incidents go uninvestigated and the culprits aren’t prosecuted.

Using this seniors   point out that that there is no point in complaining to the authorities since no action will be taken. Strong willed students have surrendered to the seniors because the university administration has not taken adequate action to stop the rag when they complained. 

The police also ignore complaints made to them by undergrads, said indignant undergrads . Police refuse to get involved when undergrads complain to them. The JVP however had a strategy ready   in the event of a police complaint. Those accused of ragging do not appear before the police. They stay away.

  In the 2019 ragging incident in Ruhuna, Matara police had called the raggers three times, but they did not report to the police station.   Instead the head of the ragging team goes o the police station to inquire about the matter.  One person rags, another goes to the police to find out, said the undergrads

The university administration did not support undergrad complaints to police or law courts either. When we succeed in filing a complaint, University asks us to withdraw the case saying it will affect the good image of the university, complained undergrads.

In 2015 we were assaulted and hospitalized. About 200 hits us .Police took no notice. So we went to courts, said undergrads at a talk show. Now they have contacted our parents and asked them get the case removed because this will be bad for the University, it is the same with the media. If we try to alert the media, authorities say that the publicity will affect the institute.

But students do not always stay silent. Darsha Udayanga, an arts faculty undergrad at the University of Ruhuna went public in 2019 about the ragging he had been subjected to. He told his audience that he had alerted everybody he could think of. I informed UGC, University, HRC but nothing happened he said.He also told Silumina and the electronic media.

He said he got no support form University. I     told the Arts faculty, don’t allow this to continue. He approached the Vice Chancellor who advised him tocomplain to Matara police. Udayanga then went to the police.  I told them do something. Eventually the 19 undergrads named by Udayanga were arrested.

After that, Darsha Udayanga went on many You Tube channels to publicize the inhuman ragging going on, using his own experience as an example. There is one You Tube presentation where Darsha provides detailed information of the 19 raggers he had named to the Police. This is probably the only presentation available where the photographs and names of raggers are made known to the public.

Darsha had photographs of all of them on his laptop and showed them to viewers   giving the role each played in the ragging ritual. They all pretend to be innocent, he said.  All 19 are in the good books of the academics. He indicated where they came from, saying bluntly that would indicate their social background. One came from Galewala, another from Welimada. (https://youtu.be/02x3t9zFeNw  )

He showed a photo of one ragger and said here is the one who organized it all. He never appears at the ragging. Then he moved to other photos. These two pose as innocent but do the ragging. This one is the nivedaka, he said. He showed a photo of the person who developed the bonchi kadana rag. He openly enjoyed watching it. Followed by a photo of the person who supervised bonchi kadana rag. One photo was of a ragger who had subjected Darsha to extreme physical ragging, He refused to elaborate.

Even in this You Tube clip which was on inhuman ragging, Darsha made repeated mention of the tearing of T-shirts by those shown on his laptop. Another had torn the T-shirts of a very poor student. One had ragged him mercilessly ‘panna panna’ and tore his T-shirt twice. There was others who also tore and tore” his T shirts. Darsha had to keep mending them.

When Darsha reported this group to the police, a group of raggers went to my town to find out about me, continued Darsha. They had got two people to pretend they are my relatives and said that I was sexually abused before I went to university.  They put that on You Tube. Darsha responded with a complaint against two informants and the chap who put it on YouTube.

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