Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran and Leader of Opposition of the Northern Provincial Council S. Thavarajah have called for the appointment of a fully-fledged Commission of Inquiry to determine all aspects which led to the student clash at the Science Faculty of the University of Jaffna on Saturday.
In a joint statement issued today, Wigneswaran and Thavarajah said that the fisticuffs among Jaffna University Students was an unfortunate incident and welcomed the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry by the University authorities.
“But such incidents should not be viewed from a purely criminal law standpoint. We must first try to find out the underlying causes that led to their violent behavior. Thereafter we must determine ways and means of dealing with such underlying causes and implement them. This would ensure that such incidents will not be repeated,” they said.
They noted that merely condemning such incidents or punishing certain students after an inquiry would not be able to bring about understanding and unity.
“In the past when the legitimate demands of the Tamil People were disregarded and they in turn ventured to claim justice for their demands peacefully and by non-violent means their actions were identified as criminal activities and such identification led to youngsters taking up to arms,” they recalled.
“Therefore when University Students have decided to resort to violence it is our responsibility to determine the underlying causes that had led to their behavior. It is for that reason we demand a full-fledged Commission of Inquiry into all aspects of the incidents. Such a modus operandi would bring to light the frustrations of the University students. Thereafter we could formulate ways and means of dealing with them,” the statement said.
Wigneswaran and Thavarasa warned that any attempt to deal with such incidents at a very shallow level would only precipitate matters and would not pave the way for real understanding and goodwill.
“At a time when the demographic pattern of the North and East after the war is being consciously changed, when the independent war crimes’ Inquiry is being dragged on indefinitely, when students from other Provinces are being admitted in large numbers into the Jaffna University, when such entrants are bent on forcing their arts and cultural background on the Jaffna soil, when there is reluctance and delay on the part of the powers in delivering political solution that would allow the Tamils to look after their political affairs in their areas of historical habitation, when there is a tendency to retain in the Province the Military far in excess of its needs (seven years after the War), all these activities must be considered by such a Commission in consonance with the recent violence to determine whether all such activities added fuel to the behavior of the students,” they said in the statement. .
They added that the appointment of such a Commission would prevent the racialists in the South trying to make political capital out of such incidents.