South Asia

4 injured as students clash at Jaffna University

What was meant to be a memorable occasion for new students of the science stream at the University of Jaffna turned out to be a bitter episode. Two groups of students reportedly had a violent clash on Saturday over the manner in which new students were to be welcomed.

Some media reports cited the ‘ethnicity factor’ as a probable cause. However, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray told The Hindu that “they constitute a handful of students. A majority of them — both Sinhalese and Tamil — do not approve of the violence.”

Officials declined to comment on the trigger behind the clash, telling that an inquiry committee had been constituted.

Call for action

Karunarathna Paranawithana, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, was one among the first to appeal to the public not to view the incident as a clash between two ethnic communities.

Participating in a function with President Maithripala Sirisena in Killinochchi on Monday, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief and the Leader of Opposition in Parliament R. Sampanthan urged the government to ensure that all the students were able to pursue their studies without any harassment.

In a statement, the TNA appealed to the students of the University of Jaffna not to permit recurrence of such incidents or anything “that will hinder genuine reconciliation amongst communities in our country”.

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Printable version | Jan 14, 2021 1:27:15 PM |

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