LSU demands justice for wronged undergraduates of Peradeniya University

The Law Student Union (LSU) of the Sri Lanka Law College expressing its solidarity with the Law undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya demands that authorities immediately investigate the recent violent incidents at the university and ensure that justice will prevail.

A statement signed by President of the LSU Osura Vindula and LSU General Secretary Senel Ratnayake says: The Law Student Union (LSU) of the Sri Lanka Law College is deeply concerned by the recent events that had taken place in the University of Peradeniya and vehemently condemn such acts of violence while strongly believing that no violence, either physical or verbal should be allowed to stand. We clearly condemn the acts of such wrongdoers and believe that such wrongdoers who do not uphold moral standards, values while contravening the law must be brought under the light of justice.

As per reports on the incident in question, a mob of violent students have assaulted 12 students who were dining peacefully at the ‘Gemba’ canteen premises at the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, while four students who retained physical injuries consequent to the assault had been hospitalized. It is believed that this premeditated attack was made on the law students at the University of Peradeniya, who had supported and has actively implemented a strict no-ragging policy. Hence this was an attack on the diligent effort put forward by the students to create a violence-free/no-ragging environment.

Ragging had been and still is a subject of great discussion over the nation since a couple of decades earlier, and this matter was addressed with the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No.20 of 1998 which strictly prohibits the practice of violence or any form of ragging. By section 2(1) thereof, any person who commits or participates in ragging, within and/or outside, an educational institution shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Further, it is a non-bailable offence under the said Act, and a gross violation of the Fundamental Rights enshrined under the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka.

The LSU stands with the Faculty of Law, University of Peradeniya as we believe that these students are innocent and have stood up for justice. Every individual has the right to liberty and security. All persons have dignity. No person has the right and ability to commit violence, and if done so, it must be addressed as per the Law of this land. Education should not only be limited to books. Real education is where one is filled with compassion, ability to understand a person, ability to accept people for who they are. University undergraduates must not engage in such blatant and gross acts of violence hiding behind the name of equality and equity.

We urge the relevant authorities of law, and esteemed panels of higher education authorities and institutions to investigate the matter diligently and with utmost attention and take necessary measures against such violence. These violent students have clearly violated the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No.20 of 1998. Hence we respectfully request and believe that this matter will be given the utmost attention as this is a clear abuse of the Law of the nation.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum – Let justice be done though the heavens fall!

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