23 October, 2017

Ragging In Sri Lankan Universities (Trincomalee Campus)

By Hasmin Haniffa

Hasmin Haniffa

Tears are not new to me, it eases heart. But this time it has failed to do so. My sister left her higher education in Trincomalee campus due to severe ragging of so called protectors of free education “seniors”.

That was a pleasant morning, sister was so happy as she’s entering Trincomalee campus for her higher studies dreaming of becoming an English teacher. Everything was set. Bought a lot of items as she won’t be able to visit home often as it’s about 300km away from home. It was a Thursday and the journey has begun. I couldn’t join the family trip to Trinco as I had final MBBS exams.

Parents returned home in the evening handing over my sister to the responsible ones in the faculty so they would seriously look after her. She stayed at the hostel.

On Sunday night sister called me and said “It’s worse here, it’s a lot of ragging, very difficult to tolerate the way they behave and every one of us haven’t slept more than 1 hour in a night since I arrived here. You will recognize it seeing our eyes. Just now a batch mate took some pills to kill herself and some of us are going to hospital secretly for emergency medical care. Don’t tell this to anyone as we’re not supposed to tell these things to families”. I could clearly hear my heart beating after she said about the suicidal attempt, how much these children are mentally stressed. She continued,”Brother, we’re taken to the canteen early morning around 6.00am and all of us are packed inside. We’re not allowed to buy food from canteen, we can’t carry water bottles, we can’t even keep a handkerchief with us. And we’re not allowed to sit. When the food arrives at the table we have to squeeze it so it becomes to fluid state and comes through our finger gaps and later it’s thoroughly inspected by seniors weather the act has taken place properly, and if not under supervision it has been carried out. Then we have to eat it and I couldn’t because I became nauseous still I had to eat it. Yesterday we were kept at faculty canteen from early morning till the evening 5’O clock and Ragging was carried out. All of us were kept standing since morning to evening and then we were brought to hostel and we’re not allowed to sleep in there. We’re given various activities and essays to be written. We’re supposed to carry out some orders of seniors like knocking the sub warden’s room intermittently all night. And again in the early morning we have to go to canteen to get ragged. Some pretty girls are separated at times and taken privately to an adjacent place and a lot of boys were talking to them for hours and hours”.

On Monday morning she called me and said, “I feel some difference, I don’t think I would make it through here, come immediately to take me home”. I was horrified and I kept my final MBBS exams aside and rushed to Trincomalee early in the morning from Colombo. Just before I get down from the bus, warden who’s the Department head of Sidhdha medicine called me and said “can’t wait, come quickly by a three-wheeler”, and I became anxious hearing that. I arrived at the hostel premises soon as possible and I’ve witnessed that she has become restless and appeared fearful and she said, “Brother, we have to leave this place immediately”. I took her home, it’s around 1.00am when we arrived at home. And the following day she has got admitted to Kurunegala teaching hospital and I have informed the education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam regarding this immediately.

My sister entered the faculty with lot of beautiful dreams in her heart. She’s a brilliant kid. She got 3″A” results for her A/Ls. And now in the name of free-education and some purposeless hidden agendas this free bird’s wings were chopped off. As a family we’re in a lot of pain and the most difficult situation of our lives. I had to witness a lot of tears. I don’t like to explain it further as my heart wouldn’t tolerate it.

I have found out that every year newly entered children leave the campus due to ragging. I met a boy who left 3 years back due to ragging. Sub warden said this year including my sister it’s 5 pupils. And some said we won’t come back and the true number is higher than this.

How much very beautiful dreams, how much effort of parents and their dreams of giving their child a better future become shattered. It’s not just one, its five shattered dreams, five parents and families with full of tears in their eyes with a lot of broken hearts.

When I’m talking to a retired Army personal who’s now a three wheel driver there whom I’ve hired to reach the faculty said, “I’ve witnessed some girls holding some other girls by their hair, and pulling to take them somewhere”. Boys come to girls’ hostel building call for them and take out the girls as they want and take them to the faculty. One person came and called all the junior girls to come out, but they haven’t, then another 5 came, the girls haven’t come out, and in minutes time came about 25-30 and threatened them to come outside the hostel and taken them to the gymnasium, as witnessed.

This ragging occurs in a systematic manner. Apart from physical Ragging a huge mental pressure is given to newly entered children up to a level they commit suicide and quit their education.
The so called “seniors” have shattered the windows of the examination hall in the faculty and set fire with tyres and black flags were put everywhere inside the premises demanding to continue ragging after some faculty inquiries.

I demand a maximum action from UGC and Trincomalee campus regarding this issue. Don’t give a chance, if anyone caught regarding a ragging issue dismiss them from university for life. Why to give a chance? Is that because anyone can torture anyone, no one cares? Is that because being a senior gives you the rights to kill a junior? Is that because a senior student can setup violence inside the faculty, no one can question it? Is that because a senior can treat a new student like a slave of last century, the world would keep silent regarding this? This type of shameful act is barbaric and the newly entered children are treated like slaves in universities. Where’s the human rights commission? Where are the responsible people? This is in a country we’re proudly talking about freedom.

I wind up with the conversation occurred between me and girls hostel security officers when I went finally to collect my sisters belongings, I asked ” You are the responsible ones, why not you stop them, why can’t you slap them twice when they come to take this children away to rag them?”. She answered, “Oh my god, they would kill us”. “Then why you guys here with a salary and a suit?”. “We are mainly responsible for these buildings here”, still I couldn’t figure out how to react to that statement whether to laugh or cry.

In the name of free education massive violence against humanity has been carried out in a systematic manner. Everyone think, tomorrow it’s your child going to experience this. Stand against ragging!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 12
    1

    Sorry to hear this very sad story.
    Govt should put a stop to this ragging.

  • 9
    0

    Hasmin,
    Hope your sister and your family get over this soon.
    What is your sister doing now?
    Has she found an alternative way to fullfill her dream?

  • 3
    0

    Need to dismiss this barbarianse from the UC and banned for the education to lifelong.

    Dear Higher authority members,
    Please take care of our brothers and sister from the ragging in the universities.

    Thanks in anticipation.

  • 2
    0

    weldone mr hanifaa we should stand against due to this ragging I don go campus n recommend others not to go , but all those now well employed while this crooks are on the road for employment

  • 5
    0

    If government and police not care about this raging act we will take our own actions against this,

  • 5
    0

    This is the shocking state of affairs about these psychopaths this country has produced. No one wants to take responsibility or exercise discipline. These students immorally forced to leave campus should be allowed an external degree under open uni or some other system so that their future is not ruined. Nobody cares really. Ask the deans for the solution and they will say to close SAITM as it is the cause.kohether yanne. SAITM is the only campus with no ragging. No wonder decent students flock to it to the fury and the jealousy of the others.

    • 0
      0

      I don’t know why this behaviour is called “Ragging”. It’s nothing of the sort, it’s sadism of the highest order. Ragging first began in Western Universities but as usual, our idiots have misinterpreted it. In the West, the entire community joins in with the student, as it is a form of a fundraising for charity event – the local MP lets himself be kidnapped for ransom, the professor at the university lets himself be water bombed for a fee etc.

  • 2
    0

    A brave man to call spade a spade. Higher education minister. This is your responsibility. Please ban ragging from all institutes of higher learning. Ensure free education system is not abused by sex starved seniors. Is not it shame ragging has become a pain in the butt?

    Please arrest all these thugs and put them behind bars.

    • 3
      0

      There is no point in appealing to the present Minister of “Higher Education”. He talks crap because he is qualified to practice a profession that allows to use his mouth not the brain. The State Minister of Higher Education has a proven track record in using the brain but he is more interested in running an Empire of Colosseum, which is his business venture.

      His other Cabinet portfolio “Highways” is a milching cow and he and his supporters are well fed by this cow.To him this portfolio is a Milk Fall.

  • 4
    0

    its best to catch hold of the raggers, give them the tyre treatment. eye for an eye.
    let it be a lesson. the families should get involved and confront the fourth years, as the education minister or the lacky staff wont do a thing.
    the families of the victims must seek out the raggers one by one, sought them out, and get them out of the university.
    vigilantism works.

  • 4
    0

    there is no point in discussing the whys and wherefores of ragging
    today we live in a lawless environment.
    the only remedy is punitive action

    the police should send a policeman disguised as a student into the campuses
    he can identify the chief raggers and the police can then move in and arrest them

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
    0

    What a sad story. Ragging used to be fun but now it has become torture. I wonder what sort of pleasure these so called seniors get by subjecting fellow juniors to inhumane ragging.

    Authorities know very well what is going on. What I cannot understand is why they are not taking any action to curb inhumane ragging. Anyone who gets caught should be expelled from the universities and given the maximum jail time.

    I blame the political culture in SL for this misery. This is what happens when every institution is politicized for silly political gains. I believe SL will have to introduce a harsh public punishment (such as whipping in public) system if they want to control this sort of nonsense. Forget the human rights:-) Humans have rights …. animals have rights but barbarians/terrorists should not have rights.

  • 1
    0

    UNiversity management should suspend srtudents and give warnings. If they do not stop they should be banned for a year.

  • 8
    0

    I was an undergraduate of university of Peradeniya for some period of time.Finally as a second year student I left there, because I was unable to tolerate and see the brutal violence released by our batch mates to junior students.Even some academic staff members, and some people related with university administration are supporting this.In Peradeniya university ragging is just like a legalized thing.Education without humanity is a vain.Those ragging is destroying whole state education system.If government cant take necessary steps to punish those maniacs who are responsible to those things,the concept of free education will be vanished….

  • 8
    1

    The great 2500 year civilization and see what we have to show for it.

    • 1
      5

      The great 2500 year civilization and see what we have to show for it.

      YOu mean one adulterated by Tamils and christian culture and, now muslims want piece of that too ?

      It is christian western culture and Britain had it.

  • 3
    0

    Free Education is the cause for all the creation of Psycho-paths and Hypocrites.who are causing the thuggerism!
    It should be terminated with the completion of GCE O/L or A/L All other Professional/Degree Courses should be funded by the State/Private by Scholarships/Grants for the deserving cases with proper interviews.

    • 1
      0

      It is not free education. I?t is lack of disciplines. As the education is free, introduce discipline. If they do not obey just chase them out or suspend until they grow up.

      As they get free everything they grow up without responsibility. So, make them learn it.

      • 2
        0

        You are right that is is not Free Education itself that is the cause. But to instill discipline, you need a stick and a Financial stick is probably the most immediate and effective one available.

        What is given for free is generally not appreciated.

        I agree with Tham.

        Start charging but have a well-thought-out and well-funded system of Bursaries and Scholarships for those capable students who cannot afford. The rest can pay.

        If nothing else, at the end of the day, the University or Government will have some money in their coffers to pay to repaint the defaced University walls and remove graffiti

  • 2
    1

    I entered university of Colombo, Science Fac when I was 18. Almost 35 years ago.

    I had been warned, bcos I went to a Colombo School, the outstation students would rag me unmercifully. Maybe the first or second day a group called me and others and started asking who we were. I think I lied and said was from some outstation school. Got yelled back, you are from a Colombo School. So admitted the school I had attended.

    All this yelling didnt bother me. I had two years of (Army) Cadeting in school (16-17).

    Next was the “real” rag.
    Catch the crow; run after a crow in front of the open canteen. No problem will do.
    Go tell that girl you love her: Perfect. I walk up and say, they said I have to tell that I love you.
    Finally the raggers said, you are ragging us.

    The Science Fac students were mainly Sinhalese. That said we had Tamils (pseudo Tamils like me), Burghers, Muslims and the one Sindhi.

    Most of us remember our years in Colombo Sci with happy memories, and meet often.

  • 1
    1

    Ragging has fallen into the category of the Dengue menace,Global warming etc etc.
    The only way out is to sack those involved in the ragging.The next step would be for the others to go on strike etc etc.for the reinstatement of those sacked!
    Sack them as well!
    By this process the number of those unemployed grads will also reduce substantially.This is the only way out.

  • 4
    2

    Do not blame “free education seniors”.

    There are reports of civilised conduct of seniors in Engineering at Moratuwa and Medicine in Peradeniya, among others

    The rag should be no justification to privatize higher education.

    • 3
      1

      Exactly. The problem in this country is we always grab the wrong end of the stick or people with ulterior motives jump in to every conversation.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    Ragging is punishable by law.(but proof in a court of law may be difficult).

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/brutal-ragging-in-the-sri-lankan-universities-video-evidence/

    Ragging is sadism practised on new entrants by seniors.
    Many have died due to ragging.
    The security officers too, appear intimidated.
    Universities should hire ex army/police who could prevent this early, by action on dates previous to those on which new students come for registration, by stern warnings and arrest of those who plan the rag.

  • 0
    2

    Higher education was privatized long ago and there is no time to choose NOW. Its gone. What you mean is private medical education. That choice too was over 7 years ago. There is no ragging in SAITM. They pay and are determined to get their money’s worth in education, character building and the right and just things in life. So they are going to get it whether you like it or not. Let them be your good example, behavior and thinking pattern, and source of inspiration, instead of these street marching hooligans shouting the slogans written on papers given by their political slave drivers .

  • 1
    0

    Some say they have backbone others say they do not have, whatever the University Dons and our politicians have, Kick the Raggers out – Deprive them of free university education even if they follow Wansa fast and the others will learn a lesson. And the staff who sympathize/turn a blind eye should be transferred to some remote schools.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Gota is the proper man for this. The raggers will disappear very soon.

  • 2
    0

    It is the academic staff who are responsible for this sad state of affairs. What the hell was the supposed to be warden doing when all this is happening inside her hall of residence? Trincomalee is a small campus which is easier to manage. If the academic staff takes a firm stand against these barbarous ragging it can be stopped. They have to identify and send a few fellows home. Best is to hand them over to the police. Trincomalee campus do not have academics with a spine. Unfortunately they are led by ulterior selfish motives and turn a blind eye towards these acts of brutal ragging.

    • 0
      1

      There are no academics with spines. That’s why they are academics with frozen brains. If you have brawn and muscle like the GMOA, then you can act ruthless like GR and things get murdered including ragging. So there is a choice of brain or brawn and the latter cant say boo to a goose even. Authorities have lost total control of uni. Actually we have no authorities that can govern positively, but rule by default.

  • 2
    0

    What the Bloody Hell authorities are doing. This must be stopped immediatyely. Affected number may be one or few, but life and future of each one is important. Freshers please come forward and inform these blind and deaf authorities. Some lunatics has a serious mental sickness to to this dirty work.

  • 1
    1

    This is the nett result of free education.Yet for all idiotic groups like GMOA backed by University students are dead against SAITM a fee levying place.Worst,they want SAITM taken over by government.How the hell can the country progress with people like this at the top?Why is the public allowing GMOA to go on strike so often,after these dogs went to Medical College at their expense?

  • 2
    0

    Thank you for all your comments
    I think this is not the fault of free education, it’s fault of this children who don’t know the value of their education they get for free
    Retired higher post personal from army, STF and any other military forces can be appointed under special provision with an additional training regarding ragging, can name it as ARF- anti ragging force, I think it’s an essential need to end this unethical culture
    My sister is fine and she’s now looking for a different opportunity to continue her education.
    This culture of ragging is now being abused, good old days people enjoyed it and have good memories regarding it, it was not a burden, now it has become a harassment.
    I hope the authorities will take actions to ‘eradicate’ ragging, we don’t need such a culture, it was not ours from it’s commencement, that’s a gift of world war 2 to the Europe later our universities adapted.
    The main important thing is making all our children to be against it, children are forced not to reveal the brutality to the family, they should inform the authorities immediately and necessary actions should be taken then and there

    • 1
      2

      Thanks for the emphasis. Indeed, what I’m hearing is that ragging is for inclusion and is fun. If it excludes someone, like your sister, it beats the purpose. It indeed has become a process of elimination. In that case one would suspect that this is in interest of the government, as it does save money on students who drop out.

    • 0
      0

      I feel sorry for your sister and nice to hear that she is fine now. I’m also a student who entered trincomalee campus for an undergraduate course in January of this year. This is absolutely true and i have gone through all of this as well. As a boy i don’t know much about how much pain girls undergo away from campus like in hostel room. But we boys and i had gone several mental and sexual tortures in hostel at night times. So that after two and a half weeks i left it and now at home doing an external degree. But still hasn’t decided whether to quit or not my university, time will tell in sha allah. Thanks.

  • 4
    0

    Sorry to say but major part of the fault lies with thinking of individuals like you too. Some how, you try to justify ragging by saying “good old days people enjoyed it and have good memories regarding it”. These are the same people who like to to say that this is part of a sub-culture of a university life but, this is all about uncultured behavior and it does not add any value. Europeans may have gifted things when they left Sri Lanka but, we should have enough intelligence to adopt only what is good. So we have to stop blaming others for our own faults.

    • 0
      0

      That seems funny, I’m a one who’s strongly against ragging and I say we no more need it for a minute and you want to convince me that I too support it, never. I’ve clearly barbaric and I’m a most senior of the system, the ones who know me well will tell you, I’m against ragging. Yes, the reason it exists still is the perception of it as positive by many but it’s not, it’s now a torture. That’s the thing I wanted to explain.

      • 0
        0

        Sorry that’s a typing mistake
        Ragging is not good for anyone, it doesn’t help anyone.
        Let’s get together and educate everyone regarding this issue and will come up with an efficient plan to stop this and protect the future generations

  • 1
    4

    Don’t blame this on “free education”. Exclusive private institutions overseas are under investigation for similar things, especially on child sexual abuse by teachers and other students.
    -“Top private schools included as part of Scottish [UK] child abuse inquiry”-The Guardian 31 Jan 2017
    -“Child abuse royal commission: Trinity Grammar School [Sydney] students raped other students, inquiry hears”-ABC News 20 Oct 2016

  • 0
    1

    sbarrkum.

    I have read Tom Brown School days at school.
    The ragging we are talking about is not the type that was practiced then!

    • 1
      0

      plato excerpt
      And so now two boys were tossed together, the peculiar hardship of which is, that it’s too much for human nature to lie still then and share troubles; and so the wretched pair of small boys struggle in the air which shall fall a-top in the descent, to the no small risk of both falling out of the blanket, and the huge delight of brutes like Flashman.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.