Prior to Saturday’s clash, the Sinhala Society of the University of Jaffna had been exposing a series of racially motivated incidents launched against the Sinhala students by unknown groups in the university and their unresolved grievances via its official Facebook page.
According to several posts by the Society on their Facebook page, there have been various clandestine moves by unknown groups to incite hatred and anger against the Sinhala students. In one such incident, a poster had been in circulation where it had said that the Sinhala Students had demanded for the construction of a Buddhist Temple in front of the Jaffna University. However, the wordings in the poster drew suspicion due to the spelling errors.
The poster which said ‘We need a Buddist Temble in front of University of Jaffna’ and was signed by ‘the Buddist Student’s Union of the University of Jaffna, SriLanka’ had contained glaring mistakes in the words ‘Buddhist’ and ‘Temple’ and even ‘Sri Lanka.’
Subuddhika Illukkumbura, member of the society who shared an image of the post on the society’s Facebook page said,” We don’t want a temple in front of the university. One temple in Jaffna is adequate for our worship….If we need we will ask for a place inside the university to do our worship…”
“Firstly, the people who wrote this stupid poster have to understand that…..”BUDDHIST” word in English has a “H” and secondly, Sinhalese never misread the sound of “P” and “B” because we have separate phonetics for P= ප and B=බ but in Tamil you don’t have separate phonetics for “P” and “B”. That means you have only P=ப and B=ப… so any person who has a brain can understand the word “TEMBLE” instead to “TEMPLE”, Illukkumbura said.
The Society also revealed that all university notices were sent to the Sinhala students in Tamil, which they cannot read or understand. Even though for almost six years they have been requesting the authorities to send them the notices in English in case they are unable to draft them in Sinhala, the authorities have claimed that the person who drafts the notices doesn’t know English.
The Society also claimed that when Sinhala students visit the university’s library, they are banned from taking any note papers into the library, while this rule does not apply to other students.
Meanwhile, sharing their views on the most recent incident that happened over the weekend, the Society said that if the country had a strong leadership, today this situation would not have occurred to the students. “We are ashamed about what happened to us. If our leaders were suitable this situation would not have happened to us. We know you assaulted our girls and boys because you’ll are jealous of us, but we won’t be discouraged by this,” the society said in its page.