No lawmaker has continuously opposed ragging at Universities – Professor Harendra de Silva | Sunday Observer

No lawmaker has continuously opposed ragging at Universities – Professor Harendra de Silva

Professor Harendra de Silva said that to his knowledge no lawmaker in Sri Lanks had continously opposed ragging at Universities. Professor de Silva made this comment participating as a panelist in a webinar held last Saturday (27). The webinar hosted by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2020 was titled ‘Torture and other forms of societal violence in Sri Lanka - parts of one spectrum?’

Professor de Silva said that what most politicians would do was to appoint a commission to inquire in to incidents when they occur and wait until the fizz dies down to release its findings.

“Ragging at Universities in Sri Lanka will go on as long as it is given sufficient justification and considered as a normal process of university education” he reiterated. He said that parents, professors, lecturers, law enforcement authorities and even those subjected to ragging, justify it. “Social dominance which in similar forms as ragging at universities were seen among primates” he added.

He recalled that as a new entrant to medical college five decades ago even he was ragged. He said that in 1972 he initiated an Anti Ragging Campaign but recalled that only 14 of his batch of 160 passively supported the campaign. Professor de Silva said that students unions having political backing were the main perpetrators of ragging at universities. Parents and immediate family members are traumatised when their loved one whom they protected for nearly two decades is subjected to sordid ragging he said.

Professor de Silva stressed that those selected for university education should be empowered with attitudinal changes and skills to deal with seniors before they enroll. He said that the Government should make financial provision for it.

He reiterated that perpetrators should be charged under the Penal Code of Sri Lanka. “ If sordid ragging takes place in any faculty, the Dean of the Faculty and the Vice Chancellor should be answerable”