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University teachers of Sri Lanka in solidarity with Indian students and teachers


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:02


We as university teachers from Sri Lanka are shocked by the recent attacks on democratic freedoms in India. Since the introduction of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act in India, we have seen courageous protests emerge all over India by people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. They, particularly university students, have stood up for democracy, a testament to the long and inspiring democratic tradition in India. 

In this context, we are very concerned by the repeated targeted attacks on university campuses including Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and most recently Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), both by the police and by goons, apparently with State complicity. 

Such authoritarian repression and fascist assaults are deeply worrying as they undermine freedoms of expression and association in university spaces, which are a crucial bastion for dissent. The future of any society depends on its youth. 

And it is heartening to see progressive Indian university students boldly coming forward to defend democratic ideals.

Anti-minority discourse, seen often in Islamophobic attacks, coupled with shrinking intellectual freedom is spreading in South Asia. Just as we have a progressive history of struggles for social justice and democratic rights in the region, which have nourished each other’s countries, authoritarian consolidation and chauvinistic attacks in India portend danger for the entire region. 

We stand in solidarity with the University students and teachers in India and call for the people of South Asia to protect our democratic freedoms in the face of rising authoritarian and nationalist forces in the subcontinent.

Signed

Ahilan Kadirgamar, University of Jaffna

Anuradha Karunarathna, University of Peradeniya

Anusuya Subasinghe, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Arjuna Parakrama, University of Peradeniya

Asela Rangadewa, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

B.M.H.S.K. Bannehaka, University of Peradeniya

Bahirathy JR, University of Jaffna

Barana Jayawardana, University of Peradeniya

Camena Guneratne, Open University of Sri Lanka

Chandraguptha Thenuwara, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Dileni Gunewardena, University of Peradeniya

Dilini Hemachandra, University of Peradeniya

Esther Surenthiraraj, University of Colombo

Farzana Haniffa, University of Colombo

Gayan Ruppegoda, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Harini Amarasuriya, Open University of Sri Lanka

Harshana Rambukwella, Open University of Sri Lanka

Indika Ferdinandu, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Rev. J. C. Paul Rohan, University of Jaffna

K. M. G. Gehan Jayasuriya, University of Peradeniya

Liyanage Amarakeerthi, University of Peradeniya

Rev. M. V. E. Ravichandran, University of Jaffna

Maduranga Kalugampitiya, University of Peradeniya

Mahendran Thiruvarangan, University of Jaffna

Manjula Sandirigama, University of Peradeniya

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, University of Jaffna

N. Sivakaran, University of Jaffna

Nicola Perera, University of Colombo

Nipuni Sarada, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Nirosha Wijegunasekara, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Prabha Manuratne, University of Kelaniya

Pradeepa Malkanthi, University of Peradeniya

Primal Fernando, University of Peradeniya

Priyan Dias, University of Moratuwa

Ramila Usoof, University of Peradeniya

Ranil D. Guneratne, SLINTEC

Rohan Laksiri, University of Ruhuna

Ruvan Weerasinghe, University of Colombo

Saminadan Wimal, University of Jaffna

Saumya Liyanage, University of Visual and Performing Arts

Shamala Kumar, University of Peradeniya

Sivanesan Pradinath, University of Jaffna 

Srikantharaja Sivakanthan, University of Jaffna

Sumathy Sivamohan, University of Peradeniya

Tharanga Dandeniya, University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Thiyagaraja Waradas, University of Colombo


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