1 July, 2022

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This Government Is Unable To Tolerate Dissent – Even Peaceful Protest: FUTA

The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) has strongly condemned the suppression of student activists in recent times.

Prof. Arjuna Parakrama

“The most recent incident, the violent suppression by the police of the peaceful protest at Lipton Circle, followed by the arrest of 13 students shows the brutality of state action against university students,” the FUTA said in a statement.

Issuing a statement yesterday, the Secretary of the FUTA, Prof. Arjuna Parakrama said: “As witnessed by several academics who were present at Lipton Circle during this incident, the ‘occupation’ by the medical students of the Lipton Circle was peaceful and it was not disturbing anyone: the traffic was not disrupted, none of the activities in the area was disturbed. Yet, the police arrived with a court order, accompanied by the riot police and water cannons and ordered the students to leave within 15 minutes. When they did not do so, they were chased away by baton-wielding police and pelted with water. Within minutes the banners put up by the students were torn off; the shelters they had built on the roundabout were demolished. We also note that there were several people not in police uniform who arrived with the police to participate in the demolition work. It was an extremely efficient and brutal display of state intolerance of dissent.

“This incident demonstrates the fact that this government is unable to tolerate dissent – even peaceful protest. It has demonstrated utter contempt for democratic values, freedom of speech and the rights to protest – all values that it claims to uphold and boasts that it restored after it came to power. This government has now lost any legitimacy it may have had of being the government of ‘good governance’. Worryingly, the Government seems to be using the law to block dissent and to detain student leaders. The attempted arrest of Ryan Jayalath, Convenor of the Medical Students Action Committees, is another instance where the response and behaviour of law enforcement officials was entirely out of proportion. We cannot forget the fact that this country has seen repeated instances of disappearances, torture, arbitrary detention and the politicisation of state machinery to crush dissent in its post-independence history. The militarised apparatus that has been steadily built up for this purpose is evidently still intact.

“We demand that the Government uphold the right of dissent and protest of all, and that it immediately ceases the suppression of student activists. We call upon the Government to heed the strength of public resistance to its policy on SAITM and to engage in a meaningful and honest effort to resolve the crisis brought about as a result of SAITM.

“We extend our sincere concern to the students who faced violence as a result of government brutality, and also those who have been arrested while engaging in protests. We will continue to uphold the right to protest and express dissent, and resort to whatever means available to us to show our condemnation of the Government’s actions.”

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Latest comments

  • 16
    4

    Sri lanka should allow private universities competing against state universities. Universities want high salaries, duty free car permits. Most and those who can go for foreign employment. But, they mislead studetns asking only the state education. Sri lankan universities are behind by not introducing uptodate degree programs. For them reading the lecture note is easy task. but, it is the students who has to face the world. If SAITM has problems that need to be corrected. But, complete nationalizatis not the solution IF private universities are allowed even those who left the country would come back at least temporariliry give back their knowledge. Otherwise, it is the same old lecture note.

    • 6
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      Prof. Arjuna Parakrama,—————————————————————————–
      RE:This Government Is Unable To Tolerate Dissent – Even Peaceful Protest: FUTA,—————————————————————————————————————–
      By the way, where were you duting the MaRa MaRa ChaTu M<aRa AmaNa MaRa HoRa MaRa DhushaNa MaRa years from 2004-2014?——–Were you feeding on the bones thrown at you to feed yourself? It is why you are very fat, and obese, even by American and Saudi standards with BMI well over 30, quite unusual for Sri Lankans, let alone the Academics…… Ae you in the low end of the IQ distribution, where the average IQ is 79? What have the FUTA, GMOA, have in common to maintain the monopoly, and remember SAITM was started during the MaRa years.—————————————————————————————————————————-Whom are you trying to fool, "Prof"? ——–It is OK to be a shill, but is there a need to get down to such low standards, when the courts order was given. You should fight it in the courts, as was the case with SAITM appeals.———————————-

  • 19
    5

    Was the Professor born yesterday?
    We know how peacefully these guys are making use of the state funded free education and being a hindrance to everyone that have to go about their life , actually earning a living.

    Professor should be thankful that unlike the last govt Rubber/live bullets were not used and white van did not make a visit.

  • 25
    5

    Arjuna Parakrama:
    Your invidious comparison of the present Yahapalanaya government, warts and all, with its predecessor in the matter of violent reaction to protest, is a lie and bloody disgrace coming from a supposedly educated Sri Lankan.
    I could reel off a series of atrocities against democratic protest by Sri Lankan citizenry, including but NOT restricted to the gunning down of unarmed protesters at Rathupaswala, that would only be merely redundant in the circumstances.
    An “academic?” You are little more than an obvious, amoral political toady of the Rajapaksa horde!

    • 7
      3

      What about the free trade zone killing during the Medamulla fat dummy time .
      Now all are talking NONSENSE as though they were born yesterday or born again Buddha??

    • 1
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      I have no idea this particular Prof. had been at the time, FUTA was not even any respect under the ballige putha adminstration ?

      Just becasue the writer may have his own biased opinion as is the case with some JO highly abusive men, , he should not generalize or share with all… that is simply a disgrace to his academic credentials.
      This klind of bathurooos cant do their job well, but to be caught by abusive political agendas of vicious politicians is so pathetic.

    • 2
      3

      Emil Aiiya……..I thought Rathupussellawa protests were in support of the NGOs to get Lotto Ravi, Batalanda Ranil and Bodhi Sira in to power, and let Alouysious , Mahendran & Associates to care care of the Mahavamsa Economy………Poor Dalits in Lipton Square were there to protect their fellow Dalit’s right to a Free Education in Mahavamsa Land , and become Doctors if they are smart enough to get Three A s………….BTW are you related to Chatura or Rajithala’s DIL?……..

    • 3
      1

      Dear Emil,
      While I agree that AP’s comparison of this gov’t to MR’s is unfair but calling AP a Rajapakse horde is beneath you. I usually appreciate your articles but calling names for people who are widely respected as independent thinkers and progressive like AP shows that you too have a hidden agenda. Ask around to find out how “pro-Rajapakse” is AP and you will be surprised.
      Andy

  • 18
    1

    Jackass! If there was a court order which the police were executing, the students should have stopped the protest. the police came and read the court order. When they didn’t leave in compliance with the court order, it was an unlawful protest. Therefore the police were bound to make them disperse.

    You FUTA lot are becoming a joke.
    Appreciate the space for dissent which is available today. We didn’t have this with MR. But space for dissent doesn’t mean you can have unlawful or violent protests.

  • 17
    0

    The complaint of FUTA is overtly quiet on the court order against the protest. The Judiciary is a democratic institution that provides the mechanism for arbitration of disputes. Abiding by their decision is mandatory. Democratic may be the protest, but the disdain to court order is not. FUTA should have challenged the order and defeated the injunction, prior to the protest. Otherwise, peaceful or not, the protest is illegal. The weapon the government used to suppress the protest is a legitimate tool. A protest, despite the court order, is defiance of legal authority. That weakens the case of FUTA.

    • 12
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      Thappu: Very well stated. This is the result of FREE education, the students do not know the value of what they are getting at the expense of all citizens. None of us respect the flouting of the rule of law by a few, sometimes if not most of the times mislead by vested interests. Let us appreciate that under the present government, even though it has its flaws, people have been vested their fundamental freedom. This person from FUTA appears, sadly, to have a short memory. Let us remind him of how any peaceful dissent in the era gone by was dealt with by the state – death, disappearance…..The rule of law MUST be upheld.

  • 13
    0

    As an academic and a member of a union represented by FUTA I am ashamed and disgusted by the effort of FUTA to condone the unruly behavior of the students. Why can’t they respect a court order and vacate? What the GMOA and the student unions controlled by Peratugami now want is a death, so that they can win their SAITM demands, and they are trying their best to achieve that by bringing innocent and unsuspecting students to Colombo and provoking the police to achieve their goal.

  • 14
    3

    Arjuna Parakrama,

    I don’t think you are worthy of the prefix given to you, so I am dropping it. (unless it is qualified further and termed ‘Nutty Professor’).

    There has been no peaceful protest mate, and we are tiring of the spectacle. If you call what has taken place as ‘peaceful protests’ a very urgent visit to the ophthalmist is recommended back to back with a visit to an ENT bloke to check on your ears.

    Let alone your photograph, your mail suggests you aren’t very mobile these days which is probably why you haven’t noticed how much the average man has been inconvenienced through all these ‘protests’.

    However, it is possible of course that despite all your punditry, you don’t really know the meaning of the words you have used to express yourself.

    Pretty poor show all in all, and if this is what the academia in this country has to offer, God help us!

    • 1
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      AP, Are you nuts? How can you justify the stand of the protestors.Some of them and you have forgotten the history of the GMOA. They stopped Western M.Practitioners form teaching at auyvedha College, then came the attack of the Apothcaries course and later the problem at Peradeniya.No the Saitm.

      They are blood thirsty lot. They are scared of competition.Letb give the bastards what is due to them – Repeat of Kolonnawa.

  • 15
    0

    Dissent and peaceful trade Union action is fine.

    But trade unions need to know that they do not decide on govt policy !!

    CPC trade unions will not decide on petroleum policy or on Hambantota port way forward.
    GMOA will not decide on private medical education policy.
    SLPA unions will not decide on maritime policy and way forward for East Terminal.
    FUTA will not decide on higher education policy.

    As long as unions understand their role, it is fine. If not through stern give action , they should be taught about what givt policy is.

    • 9
      0

      Hi Jagath Fernando: Yes, Unions are not the representatives or the voices of the citizens of Sri Lanka. They do not dictate the policies the people want established for the betterment of the country they live in. Union to me are a mere “ginger group” whose only past time it appears is to allow themselves be mere pawns in the hands of vested interests. I wonder what happened to the Unions and strikes in the J R Jayawardena era or for that matter two and a half years ago?
      All Government services are essential services. Accordingly none of them should be allowed to strike. The Government is their employer and if the don’t like the conditions of employment – they can quit and look for a job elsewhere! They cannot look for the security of a Government job with an assured pension plan and resort to actions which inconvenience and disrupt daily lives of the very citizens for whom those services have been established by the Government.
      The sad part – having not enjoyed freedom of expression in the by gone era of white van culture, murder, thuggery, disappearance, extortion, ….. a section of society does not seem appreciate their fundamental freedoms being restored since January of 2015 and an attempt, feeble or otherwise to restore the rule of law.

  • 10
    0

    Prof Parakrama,

    Where were you from 2004 to 2014.

  • 12
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    Unfortunately, judging by the comments, there is little public support for the students or for FUTA. The academics in Sri Lanka are becoming a joke. The absence of their names in international publications or the absence of Sri Lankan universities in the world ranking lists disentitles them to any respect. There are too many people in Sri Lanka carrying the title of Professor. Students must go back to lectures. How many days in the academic calendar do lectures take place these days. The universities are shut more than open. When does research and teaching take place?
    This dispute as to private universities is a useless one. The rich will always go to overseas universities. Why not let the overseas universities open campuses in Sri Lanka like in Malaysia and China.? Competition is a good thing.

    There is no absolute right of protest. Freedom of association is always subject to the law. The police did not disperse the students without authority. The students are being put to political use. They should go back to lectures which is what they are supposed to do.

    I agree with the point about militarisation. This has also gone too far.

  • 13
    0

    The point about militarisation is a sound one. The army has been built up on the pretext of suppressing terrorism first with the JVP and then with the LTTE. It has become a killing machine without controls to be used by politicians to put down dissent. But, by dissenting on useless causes, the reaction provoked simply increases the opportunity for abuse. Public sympathy moves away from such causes. The petroleum strike is an example. So too the GMOA’s strikes. In these circumstances, the use of the army and other forces is seen by the public to be permissible. The restraint that the law provides on their use slowly becomes weaker as a result. It is best not to abuse the right to strike or the freedom of association and protest. Now crowds can be bought by politicians. the situation in the country is such that astute politicians are orchestrating protests. It does not help if FUTA jumps into this mess.

    • 4
      2

      Please do not come to conclusions based on majority opinion on these pages.
      Writers here are even less representative of the public.
      Besides there is a strong UNP bias and there are group interests at work, that is despite allowing free comment.

  • 13
    6

    Prof Arjuna Parakrama is a person who will always stand up for the underdog, always decry violence. His sincerity I will never question, and I feel that some of the ad hominem comments are a bit cruel.

    However, I agree that those who manipulate the students are much less principled than the government whose credibility is fast eroding. Student activity is something that there should be, but I know well enough that it too often means a handful of activists making it impossible for the average student to focus on their education. That there is public resistance to SAITM has become true, but it is not well-informed resistance. The thinking of most Sri Lankans below the level of the Middle Class is still in terms of rejecting anything other than Statist-sponsored Socialism, with thinking focussed upon envy of those who are better off.

    Corrupt politicians who have managed to get themselves recognised as “leftists” are making it impossible for us to focus on any of the issues that really matter. The militarised apparatus that he decries is more in evidence elsewhere than in this SAITM matter – which matter has to solved in some different way. Dr Godwin Constantine’s article is on the right lines.

    Prof. Parakramaá comments are honest but come at the wrong time, and he may end up defending those who must actually be disciplined.

    • 7
      1

      Well said mate! I am 100% in agreement.

    • 5
      0

      The students are ´manipulated’ when they do things that we do not like and they act on their own will when they do what we like.
      The UTA was good when it stirred against the MR regime. It is not when it criticises the Yahapalanaya.

  • 4
    1

    Prof Parakrama,

    Daily blocking of roads inconveniencing the public by IUSF, peratugami brutes, JVP morons, and now joined by petroleum staff GMOA and SLPA with the backing of the Rajapakaya JO.

    What nonsense is this 6.2+ million voters will not tolerate these strikes anymore and FUTA please stay neutral to this burning issue.

  • 2
    2

    I read one placard saying,
    Employment is a right and they expect government to give them jobs!
    How mislead are these youth?
    JVP imbeciles have hoodwinked these kids!

    At the same time, government has no regards for the law and order, They have started the JR style thugs to attack strikers! Old habits die hard?

    What will follow soon? Tyre pyres, Bodies on lamp posts?

    Vander poodle is still trying to scratch the nut sack of the Yahapalane!
    He is waiting for Amurtha ejaculation from a jack arse?

    In my life, if I can summarize what I have learned about the two political parties,
    As they compete to become the dumbest,
    The UNP has scanty disregard for the poor while SLFP government may be influenced by Marxists side show, has a little concern for the poor! It is like Labour and Tory here!

  • 3
    0

    today thugs and hooligans call themselves student activists
    call the police, hurry hurry as yahapalanaya is taking the country to the dogs

  • 4
    0

    “”The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) has strongly condemned the suppression of student activists in recent times.”2

    Damn you dishonest brokers the parasites of the nation the protagoras that are bringing the Spider to its knees. There is no difference between the banksters and you.

  • 4
    0

    Dear Prof. AP
    You are falling into Prof GL category, losing your mind. That’s what happens if you learn too much. I recommend, work retirement

  • 3
    1

    arjuna many have tolarated your rubbish for a very long time -now pls s stop -why dont you tell us why the atrts faculty is producing unemployed and disgruntle graduate-you are a joke mate

  • 3
    1

    Methinks Professor [Edited out]Parakrama protest a tad too much. The medical students – the doctors of tomorrow – were making a blooding nuisance of themselves to all and sundry, indulging in a thoroughly non-professional way. As I recall, it was not so long ago that the Great Liberator and his eager brother-in-arms made short shrift of any bugger stepping out of line; guilty or not. Who can forget the white vans, ah? So what is a jet of cold water!

    The misguided professor would be better advised to guide his medical students and young doctors in the direction of the overflowing wards where the current raging dengue epidemic is making life a misery for the thousands suffering.

  • 5
    1

    It is sad to read some vicious and personal attacks on Prof Parakrama by people who normally write intelligently. Prof Parakrama’s credentials and his whereabouts during 2004-2014 are available if one wishes to find out. As a Dean of Colombo University and Chair in English, Peradeniya he has consistently and almost single handedly challenged the Authorities and University Council where sexual abuse of students by staff was discovered. Also possibly one of the few academic voices against the inhuman University ragging which is becoming endemic to Sri Lankan Universities and the University system. His other humanitarian work in the border villages during the war, election monitoring and even challenging the then Government on elections irked the then Government considerably. Therefore to suggest that there was a silence then is disingenuous. Why must we feel grateful for incremental improvements under Yahapalanaya? Who set the bar? who made the yahapalana promises many of us believed in and voted for? Is it not right then that we hold this Government to account for its myriad and continuous failings. We may not agree with the Professors’ stance on SAITM etc, but like it or not, cannot dispute the students right to hold protests publicly without being baton charged.

    • 3
      0

      All that you say is true, and balanced.

  • 1
    0

    It is time for a complete change to take place in this “Culture” of Trade Union Action rights enjoyed by the Unions as well as all other civil rights movements. The “Culture” I refer is that engulfed with; Protest March; Rallies; Work Stoppages (strikes) etc. that disturb peace and day to day activities of the country. Since of late, it is observed a trend in growing apathy and many outburst of condemnation by the public in situations of Trade Union actions. Why? This is the question that must be examined and answered honestly by all those organizations involved in originating actions relevant to trade or other public matters. As I see it: (1) The people of this country are bombarded with day to day problems of living due to ever continuing deteriorating living conditions. (2) The people, as a result of difficulties faced making ends meet, have become more “selfish” and devote more and more time, in earning money and sourcing for resources rather than engaging in matters of public interests and even group development. (3) The Political Authority of all shades allow and keep these frustration levels grow, because as long as that “Ground Situation” exists, it is a very fertile soil to “Divide” and grab power and enjoy a life of PLENTY for them and families. This in brief is the “Ground Situation” or the “Environment” that the Trade Unions and all other Civil Societies and in fact some of the so far failed Political Parties must study and EVOLVE a “Different Strategy” to make a CHANGE. If the situation and the problems are known; the NEED TO DO can easily be worked out. That NEED TO DO, I will spell out later, because I have to abide by the comment policy.

  • 2
    0

    My comment continued: Prof.Arjuna Prakrama: The title of your article viz. “Govt. is unable to tolerate dissent – even peaceful protest”. Please note even the Government; but even the PEOPLE cannot tolerate. Did you hear what the people in the waiting line for petrol for their vehicles (cars, buses, three wheels; transport vehicles etc.) had to say about the recent strike by the Petroleum Workers. This strike was staged along with the days the school examinations started. Did you see and hear the blurt out frustrations of the parents who were struggling to transport their children to school? The next was the “Protest Rally” the Medical Students had and the connected incidents of “Illegal Entry” to the Ministry of Health and vandalizing the place and Public Property Damage. All these “Protests” are held in the morning and evening hours where the workers rush to work places and get out to get to their distant homes. So are those “Peaceful Protest”? and was that your “Judgement? Sorry, Sir, You are WRONG. Please do think seriously to CHANGE this “CULTURE” and EVOLVE something NEW. Some more to say on that “NEW”. I will come back.

  • 3
    0

    I would rather titled this essay, “This Government as much as the Former Government or any of the Previous Governments has been Unable to Tolerate Dissent – Even Peaceful Protests”. The earliest intolerant government towards peaceful protests that I could remember in my short life was in 1953 Hartal, the General Strike, during Dudley’s government, demonstrating against JR Jayawardana’s punitive budget forced on an impoverished nation, especially the abolition of the rice ration. Ten people were killed when the government mobilised the army against the people in the very first day of the Hartal. Since then every successive government had shown their incompetence to handle peoples open grievances. The last government of MR, despite its big words of being government of the poor, the oppressed, the farmers, soldiers, teachers and clergy had shown an appalling disregard for peoples grievances: death at Katunayaka demo, several deaths at Rathupaswela, using thugs to beat up people at Borella, Fort Station, beating up students at many university demos are some violent events that immediately come to mind. This regime, within the last two years have shown that UNPers as much as SLFPers have not changed their evil ways, seeking to violence against unarmed students and workers wherever they had to face discontent. Violence is endemic in our society despite all the citizens are followers of four beautiful faiths that fundamentally preach peace and coexistence. The big shots in the government all publicly play act taking baskets of jasmine flowers to temples and churches and mandhirs, but when faced with dissent, they do not hesitate to resorting to violence with guns aimed at people, irrespective of the fact that those guns fire piercing water jets, tear gases, rubber bullets or lead bullets.

  • 5
    0

    All over the world, activism is least among medical students. The protest by the Lankan medical students is centered over a genuine grievance namely between students who worked very very very hard to enter medical college vs those who will displace them through wealth.
    From the comments here it is clear the SAITM past and present is not well known. The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) (originally known as the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management) is a privately owned educational institution providing higher education in Sri Lanka. SAITM is an unaccredited higher education institution which acquired a reputation as a prolific “degree mill” selling degree certificates.
    The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) have both publicly stated that they were opposed the provisional registration of medical graduates from SAITM to practice as doctors in Sri Lanka.
    The Vice-Chancellor Professor Ananda Samarasekera, is on a leave of absence (??), relating to his alleged involvement in the Wasim Thajudeen murder case. Several SAITM academic staff have questionable background.
    The Lankan medical graduates have a good reputation locally and overseas. The medical are showing concern as to the possibility of this reputation getting tarnished. This must be addressed or else a serious problem may linger for ever.
    Several commenters here are bad-mouthing the Secretary of the FUTA, Prof. Arjuna Parakrama. (What does FUTA stand for?). Anyone with or without knowledge in tertiary education (I am one!) should read the message and not the messenger.

  • 1
    1

    Since 1948, the GOSL has been either UNP led or SLFP led. When were you born Prof Arjuna P…. ?

    Go through the records of each govt since 1948 and count the events and study those events under each govt and see how they handled the dissent by Sri Lankan Citizens ( for DJ PhD cum smart patriot and HLDM the one time office boy of Lake House the minorities are non citizens by Mahavansa convention ).
    Study in detail how the dissent was handled by every PM, Many Mininsters and Presidents.

    I ask a similar question like another reader ie. where were you between 1972 and 2014 ? OR rather when were you born and where did you get your qualifications and or PhD ? Hope in this respect you are not a real image of qualified lawyer Namal or PhD holding political analyst DJ.

    • 4
      1

      Let me direct you to what a Tamil student has said last year about how Arjuna acted in 1983:

      Skanthakumar / October 18, 2016 20:38
      2
      10

      Yes I missed to say about Prof. Arjuna Parakrama. Probably I considered him as one of us. The way he helped us during that time could not be explained in words. He was a great adviser for all of us. I didn’t have direct contact with him at that time but my friends used to say a good comments about him. Later in USA I was able to interact with him.

      It is to be found here:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/violence-against-tamils-at-peradeniya-university-a-portent/

      Arjuna has been quite sick recently. The comment that he has made today is not incorrect in terms of the observations made, but it is a bit lop-sided.

  • 3
    3

    Dear Proffessor ,

    Shall we unleash MR to deal with you and the GMOA. If he was in power by now many of you will be dead and the problem on SATM would have been solved. Then only you will know what dessent is.

    This government is not doing anything what we the people want them to do with FUTA and the GMOA. So enjoy their patience and freedom they give you now as it will soon run out and MR will come to deal with you.

  • 1
    0

    This government cant even tolerate leader of budhists, Maha ven Gnanasarta esq, how are they going to tolerate others?

  • 3
    0

    The comparison of the present Yahapalanaya government with its predecessor is most apt in my view given that the present regime has been in power only about two and half years. It is the duty of educated Sri Lankans to be heralds as to the unfolding and impending danger to the freedom of dissent in the country. We have to remind ourselves perhaps that two key slogans of the January 8th movement was freedom and democracy which we have to defend from whichever quarter the repression comes.

    On the heels of FUTA statement came the attack with chilling fascist undertones, on striking workers at Kollonnawa oil storage by goons wielding clubs appearing to have the backing of the police while the army was watching, and they were even interviewed by the government owned ITN television. It only further proves the point raised in the FUTA statement.

    It is to FUTA’s credit that in 2013 it demanded “that Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Rathnayake and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa resign from their posts over ordering the army to fire on innocent civilians who were protesting against the contamination of their well water allegedly by a factory.” http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=85335
    We do not have to wait till another Rathupaswela tragedy to happen to come out to defend the freedom of dissent.

    All the vituperation against Arjuna Parakrama cannot justify the increasingly repressive measures adopted by the Yahapalana regime towards protesting students and striking workers. People who know Arjuna Parakrama will attest that he is not a political sycophant of any regime.

    I am reminded of Martin Niemöller’s famous quotation:
    “ First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”

    • 0
      0

      Kumudu Kusum Kumara: some of theings you preaching here are your JVP crap. YOu are wrong.

  • 2
    0

    Professor Arjuna has never backed the MR regime an he was always fearlessly against it. Yet, can we tolerate the similar behavior from the current government too. The recent attacks on the students’ movement and the suppression of the workers are evident to show that MS/RW are not so different from using the state military for suppressing democratic rights; yet, still I feel current regime cannot imitate the MR in the same fashion because it has no appeal among the majority. MR could legitimately unleash violence and only force against him was the civil society. Today, MS/RW have permanently bought some civil society activists like and alternative news papers. Arjuna is not someone who can be bought or made to bow down and he has expressed the right thing here. Also don’t think that this statement is Arjuna’s own one but it is a statement of FUTA. The scathing attack on him is inhumane and shows the quality of people who depend on the money looted from the Central Bank. Today, Ravi Karunanayake and all the horas are safe under RW and these hooligans who attack Arjuna remain silent over the corruption.

  • 0
    0

    In Sri lanka, there are students activitis because the education is free. IF they had to bear at least part of the education cost, there would not be student activists. Think about if the university is responsible of bearing at least part of the cost by charing students for education. Then how will be these socialist activistis able to come to university when there parents are peasant farmers or lower middle class income earners ?. Either the prof is misleading students by doing the wrong thing or he is unaware what he is doing.

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