'Jaffna University set up despite TNA's objections'
When Professor Thurairajah proposed to set up the University of
Jaffna in 1974, the present leaders of the TNA objected to this proposal
on the grounds that the venue selected was not suitable for a
university. However, the government, disregarding the objections, went
ahead with the plan which resulted in the emergence of a large number of
intellectuals useful to the country, said Traditional Industries and
Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda.
He said so at a ceremony to mark the re-opening of the rehabilitated
student hostel of the Jaffna Kanagaratnam College recently.
He said the leaders of the TNA saw only the bad side of any
meaningful activity the government embarked on. "They objected to things
for the sake of objecting not with any valid reasons, and it is very
dangerous to be associated with such pessimistic people, especially when
they are political leaders," the minister pointed out.
The minister said before the Indo-Lanka Pact, the Tamil people in
this country were treated as second class citizens but the situation had
now changed and people belonging to different ethnic communities now
live without religious or racial conflicts.
The minister thanked the President on behalf of the people of the
North for bringing about this change. He said he was not a politician
who tried to show off but one who made use of an available opportunity
to the maximum to serve the public. He added that his policy was to make
use of all the opportunities currently available for serving the masses
and not to wait for things to come in the future. He promised to provide
with other requirements of the school including funds for the
construction of a wall around the girls' hostel as requested by the
Secretary to the Provincial Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs
and Sports Sathyaseelan said the school had a long history of 80 years
and the student hostels had never been renovated for the last 22 years.
It was because of the unfailing efforts of Minister Devananda the school
was finally able to get the hostels rehabilitated.