A woman speaker from Sri Lanka was forced on Thursday to leave the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University campus, where she was scheduled to address the International Women's Day celebrations.
As part of the 3-day international conference on ‘Exploring the linkages between drug usage and criminal victimization', the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice of MSU had invited Jeeva Nieralla from Sri Lanka to address the participants in the International Women's Day celebrations and also in the conference.
When she was addressing the gathering during the Women's Day celebrations, Ms. Jeeva Nieralla claimed that women, who occupied high positions in Sri Lanka, were completely safe . Even as her address was going on, a group of Tamil activists from Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, May 17 Movement and Communist Party of India entered the hall with placards and urged the organisers to ask her to leave the MSU premises immediately “since the State Assembly had declared that Sri Lankan Government had committed war crimes during the last phase of the war against Tamils”.
Even as the shell-shocked organisers were reluctant, the protestors started raising slogans against the Sri Lankan Government and demanded the eviction of Ms. Jeeva Nieralla. After the invited speaker left the hall through the backdoor, Registrar P. Manickam came to the spot and apologised to the protestors and assured them that she would leave the campus immediately.
Organising secretary of the conference K. Jaishankar said that she was asked to leave immediately “as her personal security is more important than her academic commitments at MSU”.