|Thursday, 10 June 2004|
University students protest student's slaying
by Manjula Fernando
Thousands of university undergraduates gathered in front of the Fort Railway station yesterday to protest the killing of the Sri Jayawardhanapura final year student Sampath Bandara.
The picket organised by the Inter-University Students Federation called for an end to the politically instigated rivalry among different student factions and called upon all students to unite for a new culture within the university system.
Bandara's funeral was held at his hometown in Bamunukotuwa yesterday. Sri Jayawardhanapura University Vice Chancellor Prof. Chandima Wijebandara, other senior officials, students and the academic staff attended the funeral.
The students who participated in the Fort demonstration also attended the funeral.
Meanwhile, Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Tara de Mel will meet members of key university student unions at Isurupaya today in a bid to resolve the crisis in the Sri Jayawardhanapura University and discuss a long-term solution to violent student clashes.
Dr. de Mel met University Grants Commission and the Sri Jayawardhanapura University officials on Tuesday to discuss the situation and future action to free the university system from violence. Sri Jayawardhanapura University Vice Chancellor Prof. Wijebandara, Registrar Jayalath Muttetuwegama and UGC Chairman Prof. B.R.R.N. Mendis were present at this meeting.
The Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), the University Students' Union, the United Students' Union and the Bhikku Peramuna have been invited to the meeting today.
Bandara, a Sri Jayawardenapura Arts Faculty final year student was stabbed to death by a group of rival students around 4.30 pm on June 5.
This was the second death of an undergraduate that took place in Sri Jayawardhanapura University, as a result of student clashes triggered by political intentions.
Samantha Vithanage, a third year Management student was killed in an intense clash in the campus grounds in November 7, 2002.
Produced by Lake House