Online discussion on ‘Eradicating ragging from universities’ | Daily News


 

Online discussion on ‘Eradicating ragging from universities’

The ‘Coalition Against Violence Harassment in Universities’, an independent, apolitical advocacy group of academics, professionals, and concerned citizens, which aims to persuade authorities to end all violence on campus, has, as part of its advocacy, organised a webinar on the subject of ‘Eradicating Ragging and Violence from Universities & Higher Education Institutes’.

The webinar brings together a panel who would bring to bear their knowledge, insights, ideas, and different points-of-view from their own roles and expertise. They are: Vidyajothi Prof. Harendra de Silva, Co-Facilitator of ‘Coalition Against Violence in Universities’ and Founder Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority; Professor Emeritus of Paediatrics Sujeewa Amarasena, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ruhuna and Senior Professor in Paediatrics; Dr. Wijaya Jayatilaka, Director of the Centre for Poverty Analysis and a ‘Coalition’ leader who was co-chair of the Standing Committee on Gender Equity and Equality of the University Grants Commission that was entrusted with the topics of Gender Justice in Universities and Eliminating Ragging; Dr. Prabha Manuratne, Senior Lecturer at the Department of English of the University of Kelaniya; Malsirini De Silva, Deputy Head of Legal Research at Verité Research and an international human rights lawyer; and Dharsha Udayanga, a Political Science Undergrad from the University of Ruhuna who has come forward as a survivor to speak about his experiences from ragging, and what it did to him and his family.

The webinar is to be moderated by Management Consultant and Author, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi.

The webinar will explore several areas and questions related to the issue: including the practice of ragging and why there is no justification for it to continue in its nature of violence and harassment as we now know to be less the exception than the rule; who has the responsibility to act, and why action has not been taken over the years or has been inadequate; the roles of the various stakeholders in the university system from the Vice-Chancellor, Deans, Faculty, and Administration, to the students themselves; the punishments available within the University and beyond in the legal system; why reporting and whistleblowing may be subdued, risky or ineffective; whether there is a tendency in the university system not to ‘rock the boat’; and what steps could be taken going forward by all stakeholders to eliminate violence and harassment in our universities.

The webinar is partnered by the Advocata Institute, an independent policy think-tank that seeks to promote sound policy ideas compatible with a free society; and Hype Sri Lanka, a youth empowerment incubator with a network of 65 affiliated youth organisations. The webinar will be held on Monday, June 15, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 pm, on the ‘Zoom’ platform.

Those who wish to participate could register at the organisers’ Facebook pages, or by using the link https://forms.gle/NJrGKnPLiDjhknAB8, and direct questions via the slido.com using the Event Code: #ANTIRAG. The webinar will also be live-streamed on Facebook.

 


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