3 December, 2020

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The Jaffna Student Brawl: ‘Mutual Coexistence’ As The Only Path Forward

By Chaminda Weerawardhana

Dr. Chaminda Weerawardhana

Dr. Chaminda Weerawardhana

Date: Sunday 17 July 2016

This morning, we wake up to bad news from northern Sri Lanka. According to news circulating in social media (especially in Sinhala), I gathered that ‘Sinhala’ students at the University of Jaffna have been assaulted by Tamil students, over a disagreement in organising a cultural event. The first thought that came to mind was ‘what on earth is going on?’ Really, has a 30-year war not taught everyone – academic staff in universities, students of all ethnic groups and politicians with responsibility over higher ed. – a thing or two about communal violence??? The majority of reactions I’ve read so far on Sinhala language social media clearly point the finger at the Tamil students, accusing them of racism. This argument narrows the issue down to a one-way street, and risks deviating our attention from broader policy issues involved in this case.

Firstly, an impartial investigation needs to take place on the incident, within the university and in collaboration with law enforcement.

Key Questions?

Secondly, and more importantly, it is very important to ask the following question: What is the standard guideline on organising cultural events in the University of Jaffna? Indeed, we are all well aware of what happened to the Jaffna library in 1981. Incidents of this nature, which amount to acts of cultural genocide, are still fresh in the minds of Tamil people. Only seven years have passed since May 2009, and those years have passed in the absence of a sincere, consistent and coherent programme for reconciliation, or to facilitate social cohesion and gender justice. Tamil society in northern and eastern Sri Lanka today, in this sense, is a deeply fractured one. A Sinhalese person reading this could turn around and ask, “how can you say that? The TNA leads the parliamentary opposition and holds power in the NPC!”. That, precisely, is the problem.

Jaffna students' clash picture via https-::twitter.com:uthayashalin

Photo via twitter twitter.com/uthayashalin

TNA as part of the problem?

The TNA is the quintessential problem, if not the elephant in the room. Even more than the raw brand of Sinhala chauvinism, the TNA is an impediment to heal the deep-cut wounds inflicted into Tamil society. To understand the reasons for this, suffice to take a good look at the TNA’s top-notch composition. The party is manned and managed by a cohort of near-geriatric, Vellalar men. It is an essentially cis-hetero-patriarchal entity run by influential Vellalar men, and consequently, it is a party that cares ONLY about the political interests of influential Vellalar cis men. Take the TNA’s electoral lists at the last elections, and it won’t take long to notice that non-Vellalar folk and women have no place in that party.

How on earth can such a party facilitate gender justice? Or social justice? Or reconciliation? Especially in a context in which the majority of the most adversely affected victims are from the lower echelons of a draconian caste structure? Beyond pursuing their power-political agenda, the TNA has no vision whatsoever for reconciliation and addressing pressing social, political, psychological and cultural challenges facing the Tamil community, especially among young men and women. Unfortunately, there’s no alternative, and all the political parties in the country have dramatically lost the plot on addressing the pressing issues of the Tamil community in post-bellum Sri Lanka.

Lack of adequate Equality and Diversity guidelines

Coming back to the Jaffna University incident, I would squarely point the finger at the university administration and to the national-level students’ unions. Especially in Jaffna and indeed in all other universities, it is very important to have specific guidelines clearly in place on equality and diversity, laying down, in crystal-clear terms, guidelines for ‘best practice’. Hence the need for clear guidelines, making students understand that it is compulsory for them to ‘co-exist’ and ‘co-habit’, and not ‘collide’. If a Dravidian-themed festival takes place, put in place a Sinhalese-themed festival subsequently (or vice-versa), and most importantly, pursue a ‘live and let live’ approach, fully allowing students to express themselves. In a place like Jaffna where competing nationalisms are especially palpable, this is extremely important.

The importance of recognizing ‘competing’ nationalisms

By ‘competing nationalisms’, I refer to the basic reality that Sinhalese and Tamil people have very different perspectives on the 30-year war, the post-war situation, and ethno-national politics. Sinhalese should understand that Tamil nationalism is a real thing, that it exists, and that that it is a sentiment that cannot be eradicated from people’s minds by force. Similarly, Tamils need to understand that Sinhala nationalism is very much a real thing, strengthened by a military victory and in today’s context, by the tactlessness of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe joint government. Hence the vital importance of the aforementioned ‘live and let live’ approach, providing, especially in university contexts, students the full freedom to express themselves. It is crucial to enable students (both Sinhala and [given wartime and post-war repression of their voices, especially] Tamil) read, write, perform, and express their political opinions. Indeed, there is no need whatsoever for universal agreement. Debate, of course, can take place within a decent level of civility, avoiding xenophobia, racism and sexism.

Freedom live and let live: no impediment to national sovereignty (as opposed to Sinhala nationalist rhetoric…)

Providing such freedom to express competing views openly is not a threat to national sovereignty or to national security. Even the TNA has now affirmed their commitment to a single-republic concept (within which they are calling for decentralizing and devolution – which is another debate altogether). Moreover, given the regional geo-political dynamics involved, Tamil nationalism has had the time to understand the total absence of regional and international support to fundamentally change the unitary configuration of the Sri Lankan state. In this context, the only available path forward for Tamil nationalism one of mutual coexistence, with Sinhala nationalism.

A political establishment thoroughly ‘unfit’ to manage post-war Sri Lanka?

This writer’s take is that neither the Central Government in Colombo nor the Northern provincial government, nor the Jaffna university administration, have adequately taken stock of what the concept of’ mutual coexistence’ in post-war Sri Lanka actually means. This is unsurprising, as the central government is entangled in its own power politics and sheer incompetence (a grama sevaka as Head of State, a namesake lawyer – a quintessential brief-less barrister who owes his entire political career to his privileged background, and whose entire career is a hallmark of incompetence and failure – as Prime Minister, an ex-fashion designer as External Affairs Minister, and the list goes on). At the northern regional governmental level, the TNA, as I noted above, is all but a Vellalar men’s club, and is only interested in the political stakes of the Vellalar men in positions of power within it. Chief Minister Wigneswaran may look like a staunch Tamil nationalist who takes the welfare of his people to the heart, but in reality, he is only interested in his personal political agenda. The TNA politicos are the last lot to give a damn about non-Vellalar Tamil folk and women.

Mutual coexistence: prime lesson waiting to be taught?

In the end, the kids involved in the attack have been left to fight and kill each other, as their interests are completely irrelevant to the political class. Someone really needs to make these kids realise this reality, and guide them on how to coexist, with each side expressing themselves and ‘living’ their identities, while not necessarily agreeing with each other on everything all the time.

*Dr Chaminda Weerawardhana (@fremancourt) is a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    6

    I agree with this article.But before they put Singhalese students in the Jaffna campus, the government should start from the primary schools.They should put Singhalese,Tamils, Muslim etc; in the same schools. This will help them grow up together.

    • 7
      7

      While accepting what the author says about ‘competing nationalisms’ will the author who is grounding his entire argument on Vellalar hegemony for all the problems and contradictions in the North please define what he considers a Vellalar or by what yardstick he describes someone a Vellalar?
      He says the TNA is an exclusive Vellalar club, does he have any any details he can give to show who is it’s President,
      Secretary, Committee members,suscription fees to join and who sponsors an aspiring member etc,etc.? I wish to join the club.

    • 10
      1

      I must say that I was educated in a Christian boy’s school, nearly fifty years ago. There the students of all ethnicities and religion were there in the same class. Depending on the subject taught boys shifted class rooms.

      The commentator implies that the practise that I quoted above is not followed in most instances. If so, how is it that Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim University students co-exist in other Universities? Why only in Jaffna we find student divisions based on ethnicity?

      I am an advocate of ethnic and religious amity among the people. Unfortunatley this is not the first time that Sinhala students were asked to leave the University of Jaffna. Many years ago they had to be found places in other Universities. Moment that happens the story will spread that there is ethnic cleansing in Jaffna and I hope this will not spread island wide. Again champions of division and subjugation will say “SEE! You reduced the number of soldiers in Jaffna and we are repeating history!”.

      What has happened is very bad news for all of us who try our very best to promote ethnic and religious amity mong the people. University administration in Jaffna must be conscious of serious repurcussions that can take place island wide and find solutions to problems before anything untoward happens.

    • 12
      7

      The reality is that it is a post war period but not post-conflict period. The conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese has not been gone away and it will not go away until a political solution is achieved and that solution should be accepted by both parties. The political solution should recognise that North East region is dominated by Tamil speaking population and Tamil speaking people have their own cultural, linguistic and religious practices. You cannot forcefully introduce Sinhalese culture into Tamil speaking people. There is nothing wrong in incorporating Kandian dance but you cannot replace the existing cultural practice with something that symbolises oppressing.
      It is sad that someone who had doctor level education talks racist and divisive politics. TNA is an elected body equivalent to UNP or SLFP. TNA is the only party that is not corrupted like UNP and SLFP. You can buy any Sinhalese Parliamentarians by giving ministerial posts or paying billions but not a single Tamil parliamentarian. The author needs to change her attitude and rehabilitate herself before accusing some one.

      • 6
        3

        Ajit
        “The political solution should recognise that North East region is dominated by Tamil speaking population and Tamil speaking people have their own cultural, linguistic and religious practices.”

        Majority of Tamil speaking people live OUTSIDE North and East. Any solution should take into account how this factor impacts the rights of the Sinhalese.

        Soma

        • 6
          5

          Soma,
          “Majority of Tamil speaking people live OUTSIDE North and East. Any solution should take into account how this factor impacts the rights of the Sinhalese.”

          Majority of Tamils may live outside of North East or even outside Srilanka but still North East is dominated by Tamil speaking people. Of course, Sinhalese dominated areas should be administered by Sinhalese but they don’t have the right to force Tamils to live under Sinhalese administration.

          • 1
            3

            Ajith

            “Of course, Sinhalese dominated areas should be administered by Sinhalese but they don’t have the right to force Tamils to live under Sinhalese administration.”

            Of course they can’t force the Tamils(Tamil speaking people) to live under them. But they can disenfranchise them and consider them as migrants if they do not wish to relocate themselves into North and East.

            Mr Ajith, like all of your category you are also trying to brainwash the Sinhalese to accept that ” North AND East for US and the rest is for ALL OF US” theory.

            Soma

            • 0
              1

              Soma, I am glad you get this theory North AND East for US and the rest is for ALL OF US”

              The whole agenda is to create a mono ethnic power center in Jaffna.

              Apply the rule of law to University students, expel and send anyone incite violence to jail.

        • 5
          3

          Today Kathirkamam Pilgrims were attacked by Sinhala mobs says pilgrims did not put their vehicle on the payment let the mob vehicle proceed ahead.

          When Yahapalanaya Goverment conducted a sports meets last year in galle to create unification and reconciliation, Jaffna sportsmen were beaten by the crow entered into the field. Jaffna team did was stopped from participating further in events by the false reconciliation organizer of Sinhala Buddhist.

          Will Chaminda write about these too.

          Only way is Tamils to go alone!

    • 3
      1

      Dr. Chaminda Weerawardhana RE: Comment by Thamilan

      //”But before they put Singhalese students in the Jaffna campus, the government should start from the primary schools.They should put Singhalese,Tamils, Muslim etc; in the same schools. This will help them grow up together.”//

      //”Firstly, an impartial investigation needs to take place on the incident, within the university and in collaboration with law enforcement.”//

      //”In the end, the kids involved in the attack have been left to fight and kill each other, as their interests are completely irrelevant to the political class. Someone really needs to make these kids realise this reality, and guide them on how to coexist, with each side expressing themselves and ‘living’ their identities, while not necessarily agreeing with each other on everything all the time.’//

      Thanks for the write up.

      Yes. It is about respecting each others Para Culture and tradition, the Para-Sinhala Traditions and the Para-Tamil Traditions irrespective of how stupid and idiotic are.

      Oh Paras Paras, going after each other’s throats again..

      Oh Paras Paras, when will you learn, Oh Paras, Paras….

    • 7
      2

      The writer makes good points. But this is not about co-existing cultures. Why do you need a Kandyan dance to welcome new students in Jaffna? In the same way, why do you need a Tamil cultural dance to welcome new students in Peradeniya University in Kandy? For Singhalese students, this is an opportunity to learn new culture after 30 years.

    • 0
      0

      That is how we were schooled! Where do you live?
      We had friends from every nationality!

    • 0
      1

      Some Tamils wanted to kill some university students and celebrate the 1983 July.

  • 0
    0

    Ane, ow ane.

    Oya haree…. cool.

  • 3
    1

    ‘Mutual Coexistence’ As The Only Path Forward…….

    An interesting choice of words. That’s what Germany, France, Italy and England said about the moslem immigrants…..now look at the mess they’re in.

    • 4
      2

      In other words are you saying that SL is now considering a scheme taking a cue from Germany,France, Italy and England to deal with the Muslims in the island like how the LTTE did in the North to become extinct?
      We know the scheme had a trial run in Beruwela and Aluthgama recently.

  • 9
    5

    The author is pretty naive on the undercurrents of racism that has ravaged Sri lanka. This chapter of the nation’s history was started by a sinhala, who surprisingly did not speak sinhalese, who started this charade for his own political expediency. The regimes that followed continued and even built on it, leaving the Tamils and other minorities alienated.

    Even in this article, the author had displayed his brazen sinhalese traits under the cover of co-existence. You don’t call that co-existence. The better word is subjugation. Lest I be accused of digging the old past, after the war ended the MR regime even prevented the Tamils singing the national anthem in Tamil in Jaffna, something they have been doing long before the war. He (the author) may think the world is sleeping but how the regime “punished” the tamils collectively for the actions of the LTTE, the blatant bullying tactics, deprivation of basic decency and intrusion into the private lives of the people by the army is not lost. Then appointing a governor who usurped the authority of the CM was well-known but he conveniently assigns the problems as one arising from the vellalars. How naive he is.

    Just a point – when one of my friends attended the EXPO organised immediately after the war, the cultural event that night did not have even a trace of other cultures except that from the sinhalese, from the beginning to the end. He got so cheesed off that he just walked-off midway into the event. The word “trampling” is synonymous to the sinhalese. Such donkeys don’t have to preach the other communities. They have to set an example but SL is as spoilt as it was in the years before the wars. Convenient scapegoating does not solve the problem. Chaminda has to go back to school to earn a proper doctorate. His claim of being impartial is very phony.

    I am all for ethnic co-existence but start from the beginning, not from the end.

  • 2
    0

    If There was existence and there was /is disappearance too. You cannot say there is a co existence, may be at a very low level . there is not much symbiotic life but carnivorous and herbivorous life

  • 3
    4

    Don’t talk BS.

    It is Tamil homeland where high caste tobacco farmers subjugating all other barbers, toddy tappers, fishermen.

    Southern govt should only give money to them, but should not send sinhala students to study there.

  • 3
    1

    “The importance of recognizing ‘competing’ nationalisms”.
    Sinhala Only was brought to benefit Sinhala Students. Standardization was brought to benefit Sinhala Students. The most educated province in the Island for centuries reduced to the least educated Province by the political games of the Appe Andu. This clash did not just happen in Jaffna. Many Tamils students from Batticaloa have been in the hospital. Many Tamils even gave up their education from Southern Universities and return home because of the year around antagonism in Southern universities, irrelevant of Annual Pogroms celebration outside the campus set fires inside too.

    These Tamil universities are other decentralized government operations to monitor Tamils, like the provincial GAs. From Vasanthi Arasaratnam to any previous agents are employed by EPDP and other paramilitary criminals. These operations are only to strengthen the hold of the military in the North and East. During the last election Vasanthi openly issued statements to support her favorite government. She threatened staffs who do not in line with her political path. Now, like Devanda, when government changes get converted, these Jaffna University people too have become new government’s Yahapalanaya agents. We all saw the purpose of Ahamed Nazeer and its backfire. The students try to learn are changed into hooligan agents Appe Aandu for its purpose. This kind of operation is one forced LTTE to ask Muslims to North.
    Last Forty years anyone comes out the university system is highly corrupted daytime thieves. When write one essay (like this one) you can see how they twist the truths. Education manipulation is the biggest Appe Andu’s conversion tactics. There are no single Tamils’ textbook carry anything truth or useful information kids can use in their latter life. CM of NPC has asked many times to allow them to call UNECO experts in consulting the text books creation. But Sinhala Governments teaching the Bestiality Stories to the Southern Students and sending them to spread that culture to North. After end of 9 years of the genocide war, still native residents of that land is in IDP internment camps behind warp wire and their lands are occupied by army habilitated, cultivated and used for Southerners truisms. Government is refusing to build them residence for the internment camp residents. The Bald heads are sprouting a new Buddha statue in every junction of the Tamil land and placing an army guard to protect it, with name of religious freedom.
    145,000 of their relatives’ murders in just five months are not investigated even after the international governments asked for it. This man is writing: “TNA is an impediment to heal the deep-cut wounds inflicted into Tamil society. Like Standardization law was not implemented even in South Africa’s Apartheid rules, the law Lankawe implemented that TNA MPs Should apply to Northern military government for permits before they walk into any school premises even if their loving ones in those school was not used anywhere in the world. After noticing these only even American Ambassador said “war may be over but another armed struggle may start by these action of Appe Andu”.

  • 2
    3

    Well after carrying the bucket for the Yahapal Government the good Dr. has come to the realization that as per his words a Gramasevaka and a brief less barrister cant run the affairs of the state. Well good. What I admire the most is that the good Dr. is the only person who called what TNA essentially for what it is the most rabidly racist ogranization in the country. The geriatric Vellala mens club is only bringing misery to the tamils as well as the Sinhala population. They are a curse then they are a curse now. Using the UNHR investigation mandate the Government should put all these Tiger mouth pieces behind bars for aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation to forcefully use a powerless population as human shield and recognizing a terrorist organisation as the sole representative of Tamils. That will put an end to all these drama.

    • 0
      1

      They should have been sent to jail for inciting racial hatred!

  • 6
    1

    Dr Chaminda

    A few months ago Eastern University Tamil students were attacked by Sinhalease students, not once but twice in a few months gap. What was the reason? I am anxious to hear your “theory”.

  • 5
    0

    On dance:

    Kandyan dance is said to be derived from one dance ritual brought to the Upcountry from India – most probably Kerala or the hilly regions of the South.

    It has many features similar to other south indian dance forms such as bharatanatyam, kathakali etc.

    Thus instead of identifying these dances with ethnicities, we should call them what they really are: art forms that are influenced by each other. All can be traced back to elements from Natya Shashtra – an ancient indian treatise on dance/drama.

    Likewise, bharatanatyam is not exclusively “Tamil” either. It shares many features with other regional forms, and in fact with even North Indian dances.

    Diversity of art forms is something that should be celebrated, and should be used to bring disparate people together – NOT to divide them.

    I am both sinhalese and buddhist. I am trained in ball room, low country and bharatantyam. I enjoy, appreciate and have benefited from each of these dance forms. I am so glad that Sri Lanka can boast of not one but multiple dance forms, despite being such a small island. We owe that hybrid and diverse heritage to our location and our historical ability to co-exist.

    Why not go back in time, and live, let live and dance together? :)

    Peace

    • 0
      0

      As far as dancing styles are concerned the fluid, subtitle and trance like low country movements are different to other South Asian traditions where rigid and precise movements are emphasized
      The devil drum has evolved from the island’s prehistoric past and the low country acrobatics have influenced the up country dancing

  • 4
    1

    Chaminda.

    I refuse to comment with such a silly photo of yours!
    You would do well not to be melodramatic of your views however well argued!

  • 1
    0

    if we take out your- writer- paragraph on TNA, vellala domination etc your article has some substance. you spoiled the article by entering into an not so familier area of vellala politics. there are enough non-vellal people to talk about this matter. i think it was the former CM v.perumal who put forward the fact (?) that now non vellala people are in majority in jaffna. anyway that para gas nothing to do with the recent incident in jaffna. the writer miserably failed to connect both-TNA and the incident.
    as for students from all communities studying together please note:
    a)all discriminatory legislations impacting unfavoarably the tamils were
    introduced by english educated politicians who went to mixed schools…this includes most of the tamil leaders of previous generation
    b)what is the quarantee that minority students in mixed schools are given equal treatment?
    c)even if we want it is difficult to establish mixed schools though out SL and you know the reason.
    mixed school- students from all ethnic groups have access.
    -DAYAL

  • 1
    4

    The only barrier to reconciliation in SL is Tamil national alliance and the racist tamil politicians.

  • 3
    0

    Why ”culture” in a Freshers’ Day?

    Why not share future dreams, giving chance to useful connectivity between the students?

    By the way, Jaffna is overloaded with elaborate ”functions” boosted by the armed forces – didn’t they have a five-day Vesak when the South was grappling with the aftermath of landslides weeks ago?

  • 1
    2

    A good opportunity for a Mutual Coexistence elude……
    Tamils have lost a good opportunity to demonstrate goodwill.

    Does this much resentment run within????

  • 4
    0

    Brawls between student factions are common in Lankan universities. The recent Jaffna University Vavuniya Campus incident is unfortunate because it had the ever present Lankan bane – language divide. The Jaffna University VC should have handled it differently. Reading between lines it is clear that the VC and academic staff do not see eye to eye. The staff association has decried the incident but we are yet to hear from the Jaffna University Council.

    Dr Chaminda Weerawardhana is correct in pointing out the futility of the incident. However he uses emotive terms like “Sinhala students were assaulted by Tamil students”. Chaminda ends the article saying “The kids involved …have been left to fight and kill each other……” No no this will never happen – the incident was nowhere like the now familiar pogroms directed against Tamils.

    One must hope that the students will learn from the effects of the incident. They were brutally oppressed by the former Governor of Northern Province Major General GA Chandrasiri – the man even had soldiers monitoring lectures. The students must use their freedom of association wisely – hopefully they will.

    Chaminda drags in TNA and to boot “Vellalar stakes”. He goes on to say that Chief Minister Wigneswaran is only interested in his own personal political agenda”. These sound very much off the ”Thoughts of HLD Mahindapala” and “The Izeth Hussain Sermons”. In any case what was the relevance?

    By the way Chaminda: What is the difference between “coexistence” and “mutual coexistence”?

  • 5
    0

    The Jaffna university incident was unfortunate, but not unexpected. Chaminda kept his mouth shut when Thamil students were attacked by Sinhalese students recently in the Eastern University. Even Thamil pilgrims to god Katarakama were not spared by Sinhalese hoodlums. When Thamil athletes went to Galle to compete they were assaulted. They returned home without competing in most of the events. It will be interesting to know why such assaults are happening. Why are the two communities virtually at each other’s throats? It is because of the supremacist thinking of the majority Sinhalese. They have been fed on a diet of hate propaganda against the Thamils. The Sinhala Only Act, Standardization, foremost place to Buddhism have elevated the Sinhalese as rulers and the Thamils the ruled. The defeat of the LTTE has made Sinhalese to look down on the Thamils. How come the Sinhalese students in the Jaffna University assaulted the Thamil students when they are numerically weak? This is because of the presence of 16 army divisions in the North, Sinhalese police, Sinhalese governor, and Sinhalese government agents and so on. There is no equality between the Sinhalese and Thamils. Following the example of Mahindapala, Chaminda also raises the bogey of caste as though there is no caste system among Sinhalese. Suffice to say with the sole exception of Ranasinghe Premadasa all the Prime Ministers and Presidents of Sri Lanka came from the dominant Sinhala govigama caste! The Asgiriya Malwatte chapters are exclusively the preserve of Radala and Govigama castes! The Mandarampura Puvata says that thirty two ‘senior’ members of the Sangha who opposed Radala and Govigama preserve were banished to Jaffna by the monks who led the despicable conspiracy. In future, stop your obsession about caste since you have a log in your eye compared to a speck in my eye.

  • 3
    0

    Where there is no real leadership this is what will happen. The laws of the jungle will raise its ugly head.

    We have a President who is increasingly leaning on Buddhist monks to advice him on all matters. We have a inept Prime Minister who has no real agenda for the country. We had a former president who’s principle advisor was a soothsayer. What co-existence? What mutual respect?

    So the simmering ethno nationalisms will keep erupting. So sharpen your swords. It is only a matter of time before another devastating war will raise its head.

  • 1
    2

    We have to settle few thousand Sinhalese in Jaffna, So northerners can get used to Sinhalese again!

  • 0
    0

    It seems we are still racist at heart & only need an excuse like ‘culture’ to ignite a spark. It is understood that about 2 generations of tamils living in Jaffna or even domiciled abroad, have had hardly any contact with the sinhalese & have been brainwashed by LTTE propaganda, so it may be hard on them them to accept the Sinhalese who have been hailed as the conquerors. However, university students are the accepted educated generation that will take the responsibility of leading the country in time to come but if they fail to understand the diverse cultural & religious practices of the country and except the rights of individuals in a multi ethnic society, especially after years of ethnic conflict which had resulted in massive economic & human losses, we are inherently racist or there is something very wrong in our education system.

    In this case, the University administrators are also partly to blame for not making adequate effort to integrate the students. Foreign Universities encourage all sorts of clubs & societies which promote various interests, including ethnic cultures & identities, as far as even to accept Gay & Lesbian Societies but whatever plans these societies have to celebrate or sometimes even protest, the University authorities have the final say. If the Tamil students objected to the Sinhala ‘parade’, the authorities should have banned all forms of celebrations, taking a neutral stand. Whatever the circumstances that led to the conflict, it seems SL has a long way to go in accepting ethnic & religious diversity, particularly, the educated future generation as represented by University students behave in this way.

  • 0
    0

    consider this as a criminal act, jail the racist. get the police to conduct a impartial investigation. put police protection for buddhist/muslim students to study in jaffna. sri lanka belongs to all, not for racist.
    also arrest the basterd gnansara,

  • 0
    0

    Kill the whole lot…send them off to where the red Indians were sent. Then “Build back Better”…then in a few decades we will have a beautiful white skinned population supported by a few dozen nuclear warheads. And a small miracle called Sri Lanka as well.

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