3 October, 2022


Brutal Ragging In The Sri Lankan Universities: Video Evidence

By Darshani Wimalasuriya –
Sri Lankan universities are full of violence and human right violations. Ragging has paralysed the university education structure and discipline. A new video reveals the inhuman nature of ragging that occurred at a Sri Lankan university .  This video contains extremely disturbing graphics and victims are forced to physical and mental violence. This is the reality of the Sri Lankan Universities and unfortunately the University Authorities have not taken any preventable steps to eradicate the brutal ragging.
Ragging and Low Quality of Education 
The Education quality of the Sri Lankan universities have dropped significantly over the past two decades. According to the World ranking Sri Lankan universities are now lower than most of the Third World Universities.
World University Ranking 2011
Harvard University – According to the World Ranking number 1
Oxford University -World Ranking number 6
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich -World Ranking number 15
University of Hong Kong -World Ranking number 21
University of Tokyo -World Ranking number 26
Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea -World Ranking number 28
Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
University of Alexandria Egypt -World Ranking number 147
Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore -World Ranking number 559
Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246
University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189
(Ranking Web of World Universities : http://www.webometrics.info/ World University Ranking 2011-2012 : http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2011-2012/top-400.html)
Inhuman nature of Ragging 
The senior students of the Sri Lankan universities use physical and sexual harassments to control the newcomers. Among the sexual violence forcefully stripping naked, forced masturbation, forced to perform oral or anal sex, sexual act simulation, urinating on victim, inserting pens and candles to the victim’s anus or vagina, smearing tooth paste or marmite in the victims genitals, forcing to wear clothes without undergarments (without panties or jockstraps ) , bucketing or throwing dirty water with animal and human feces, swearing with utter filth, interrogating the victim with thousands of vulgar questions, forced to repeat filthy words or sing filthy songs in front of a group etc. are quite common. Although rape and sodomy are rare the recent reports indicate that these types of extreme form of violence are slowly emerging in the Sri Lankan Universities.
Sri Lanka may be the only country where ragging is used to murder people, particularly University students and school children. In addition to murder there have been a large number of cases of causing deformities, torture, trauma and untold pain of mind.  This wickedness, inhuman behaviour and villainy, resorted to by some psychologically deranged University students, has now spread to schools, armed forces, training colleges, technical institutions, religious institutions and generally everywhere in Sri Lanka. (Stop murder by ragging –S  B. Buddhadasa)
Ragging is criminal assault
Ragging is a violation of a basic human right protected by the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the supreme law of the country. Any citizen can petition the Supreme Court in terms of Article 126 of the Constitution in case of a human right violation. The Constitution highlights ruthless, brutal or contemptuous treatment to any party by another as a violation of human rights.
Article 126 refers to filing action in the Supreme Court for human rights violations. The Article that also gets transgressed is Article 10 (and others) dealing with fundamental rights.
These Constitutional constraints are equally applicable to those in schools, universities, or elsewhere, irrespective of age. Any civil or criminal offences executed by them are liable to be punished and shall be produced before the relevant court and subject to suitable punishment after a trial and conviction.
It is also a contravention of a specific Act on ragging, passed by the Sri Lanka Parliament, Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act, No. 20 of 1998. The detailed heading specifies that it is an Act to eliminate ragging and other forms of violent and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment from educational institutions:
“Any person who commits or participates in ragging within or outside the educational institution, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction after summary trial be liable for a term not exceeding two years. The victim shall be paid a compensation of an amount determined by court in respect of the injuries caused to such person.” (Ragging – My Experience Dr Brian Senevirathne)
The University Authorities turn a blind eye to Ragging   
The university authorities are turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to brutal ragging in the Sri Lankan Universities and they do not take initiative or leadership to end ragging in their educational institutions. Most of the university professors and lecturers have a past history of ragging and violence in their student days and opposing ragging is morally challenging them. Therefore most of the university authorities do not take effective actions to prevent ragging and violence.
The student political groups use ragging as a weapon to control the new students and to indoctrinate them. There are unspeakable human right violations occurring inside the Sri Lankan universities and many university professors and other authorities maintain silence. Many of the sexual and physical harassments are covered by the university establishment and the general public is unaware of most of the horrible events that occur in these educational institutions. Majority of the university lecturers do not want to get involved in internal politics or to have grudges with the extremist student groups. Sometimes inhuman form of ragging is happening in front of their eyes and still they do nothing to stop it. Many university teachers pretend that they did not see the incident and move away. Only a handful of Western educated academics with their moral upbringing oppose ragging in our universities and they see the ruthless nature and gross human right violation in hazing.
Myths and Facts about Ragging   
1) Myth Ragging makes a student bold and prepares us for the difficult circumstances in Life. It makes us strong.
Fact : Boldness as  instilled by ragging is a weak acceptance of fate by victims. It teaches us how to be exploited and mutely, non-resistively accept it.
2) Myth Ragging helps in breaking the ice between the seniors and freshers. It helps in their interaction and developing friendship between them.
Fact :Ragging is an archaic method of interaction with several harmful effects. Today with  advance psychological science there are many other healthy ways of interaction which are more effective and without any human rights abuse.
3) Myth Ragging generates a feeling of unity and Oneness.
Fact :Ragging divides the students on the lines of caste, region, class etc. It sets mob mentality in the students.
4)Myth Severe Ragging is not prevalent anymore.
Fact: Severe ragging is widely prevalent in most of the University hostels. There have been  deaths due to ragging   The problem is not yet solved, it is just hidden.
5) Myth After the ban on ragging, colleges have geared up against it.
Fact :Many colleges now try their best to keep the incident under the cover to save themselves from embarrassment and the reputation of the college.
(Ragging in Indian Universities and Colleges Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education)
Sir Ivor Jennings, the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya once said the  fundamental task of higher education is to produce men and women who are capable of fulfilling any function in the world that may fall to their lot, citizens of high intelligence, complete moral integrity and possessing energy, initiative, judgement, tact, and qualities of leadership” (Jennings, 1948).  The perpetrators who commit serious violence and human right violations in the Sri Lankan Universities do not have the central qualities such as moral integrity, leadership and intelligence that  Sir Ivor Jennings mentioned. These are wasted people and they have nothing to offer to the society. These people do not deserve to be called “University Students”.
More on ragging ;



This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 11, 2012

An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that “video reveals the inhuman nature of ragging that occurred at the University of Ruhuna.” Sending a clarification Prof. Susirith Mendis, The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ruhuna says; “The background clearly shows that these ragging activities did not occur in the university of Ruhuna, but some other university.” You can read the Vice-Chancellor’s response in the comments section. We apologise for any inconvenience this error has caused.


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Latest comments

  • 4

    //3) Myth Ragging generates a feeling of unity and Oneness.
    Fact :Ragging divides the students on the lines of caste, region, class etc. It sets mob mentality in the students//

    This is the best part of this analisis.Can the author explain how ragging devides people according caste/class lines???Ragging is a particular social phenomenon which should be condemned and shoud be overcomed with a more intelectual method of segregation.But Theswe type of analysis of elitist intelectual shows the ignorance they have toward ground realities.This statement clearly shows that this author has no knowledge about ragging or the complicated consequences of the process!!!

    • 4

      Higher doses of ragging are given to students seen as coming from urban areas, prestigious schools, wealthy families etc. Ultimately the rural majority developes a resentful mentality against those perceived as hailing from more privileged backgrounds. I have seen all this firsthand.

  • 1

    The are only two authentic ways to stop this barbaric ragging. Believe it, it works! I can guarantee it:

    1. Send about 10 gunmen armed with T56 with enough ammunition to terminated all the students except the new comers in the university and post them in a hidden location until the moment comes. Right before they begin throwing water as when seen at the end of this video emerge from hiding and gun down all the rascals in the university so that this “ragging-germ” which they have contracted from their previous ragging experience is ended with them!

    2. Those who are subjected to ragging make a determination not to repeat it to another batch of students! I recommend this option for every body failing which somebody can try the 1st option!

  • 1

    Do not send your children to Sri Lankan Universities , Sri Lankan Universities have no education quality . Nobody recognizes Sri Lankan university degrees now. It is the high time to have private universities in Sri Lanka. Those who oppose private universities are humbugs who want to maintain very low level and low quality education in Sri lankan universities. Let the JVP backed rural idiots have ruined these god forsaken so called universities.Let them eat it until there is no more.

  • 1

    African Universities -According to the world ranking

    Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
    University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246

    Sri Lankan Universities – According to the world ranking

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    Sri Lankan Universities are are lower than the African universities . Uganda and Zimbabwe are failed states. Our Universities are lower than the educational institutions of those failed states. Thank you ANTHARE / Thank you JVP / Thank you for your laborious work since 1971 .

  • 0

    Gota can stop the ragging with one phone call.

  • 0

    Dear Ms. Darshani Wimalasuriya,

    I write to inform you that you have seriously damaged the good reputation and image of the University of Ruhuna by claiming that the video you refer to is “ragging in the University of Ruhuna”. I believe that the you have taken it from the ‘Colombo Gazette’. I am herewith sending my correspondence with the Editor of ‘Colombo Gazette’ in this regard which explains it all!

    I request you to take urgent action to make a correction and tender an apology for your false claim with regard to the University of Ruhuna. The correspondence with the ‘Colombo Gazette is given below:

    On Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM, Prof. Susirith Mendis

    Colombo Gazette


    It has been brought to my notice that there is a video on your website dated 2nd June 2012 on “Ragging in the Ruhuna University, Matara”. This is completely false. The background clearly shows that these ragging activities did not occur in the university of Ruhuna, but some other university. You should have verified the information before putting this video naming the University of Ruhuna. It has caused untold damage to the good name, reputation and dignity of the University, nationally and internationally by this false claim.

    The ‘Ada Derana’ news re-telecast this video and a student identified the university as the University of Visual & Performing Arts. Please check this out. The video DOES NOT SHOW THE BUILDINGS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF RUHUNA IN THE BACKGROUND!!!

    I request an apology and a correction to be placed on the Colombo Gazette to make some reparation to the damage you have done to the University of Ruhuna.

    Prof. Susirith Mendis
    University of Ruhuna

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2012 12:41:34 +0530
    Subject: Re: Ragging at the Universty of Ruhuna
    From: Colombo Gazette
    To: “Prof. Susirith Mendis”

    Dear Sir,
    We would like to express much regret over the harm this video has created by us as a result of us stating that it occurred at the Ruhuna campus.

    Infact the very person speaking on Derana identified as Yukthi is the very person who gave us the video stating it was from Ruhuna. We have now taken up the matter with him and removed the Ruhuna name from the video and also posted a correction online.

    We assure you we had no intention of harming the good name of any university but instead only wanted to highlight what some students do in the name of ragging.

    Colombo Gazette

  • 0

    The serious degeneration in the practice of ragging, which had its origins as a harmless initiation ceremony for all new-comers to the world of wisdom and learning, vision and philosophy, has resulted in uiversity life becoming more like a remake of Guantanamo Bay or meting out ‘social justice’at a shanty / slum “bazar” on Colombo’s outskirts.

    These “students” who carry out the ragging seem drunk on some kind of power trip which is reminiscent of the impunity offered, say for example in a war zone where the police, judiciary, evidence, proof, law and order are often non-existent.

    I wonder if these lowlife humans have been interviewed by social scientists and the motivations and nature of exhilaration derived from sadistic and cowardly behaviour documented. If so, the findings must be published for public knowledge.

    One avenue to counter this menace might be closed circuit TV cameras mounted high up and out of sight of the venues of these torture sessions. Perpetrators of these crimes should be charged under the penal code and brought to justice.

    No need for university teachers to be involved. The VC can also stay out of it. Jurisdiction and purview can be under the ministry of defence and urban development if that is the one that oversees police matters.

    Court proceedings should be telecast and brought into full public view. Perpetrators who are found guilty must face public wrath and disdain (not violently) before they are incarcerated and separated from society until they are rehabilitated. Their “university education places” can be given to those poor students who missed out in the earlier rounds.The ex-convicts can thereafter be forced to till the land and grow some vegetables to earn their living.

  • 0

    Universities are under law and regulations of Srilanka Law. So any harassment can be reported to Srilanka police or courts.

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