Last evening I watched an interview of Sudantha Liyanage on social media. He was referring to an interview Sujeewa Amarasena had given to ‘Talk with Chathura’ over nine months back. And the entire focus was on the issue of every female undergrad getting raped by the raggers.
I went back to ‘Talk with Chathura’ and found out that Sujeewa had actually spoken about rapes. But there is a huge chasm between what Sujeewa had said and what Sudantha now claims – after nine long months – that Sujeewa has said: while Sujeewa says under extreme conditions such incidents have taken place, Sudantha’s interpretation is that every female undergrad is being raped.
Sudantha’s accusation is so absurd it’s not worth a second glance. Actually this is the tragedy of Sri Lankan higher education; some academics not being able to exist without political patronage and becoming absolute stooges. If Sudantha had any concerns with Sujeewa’s interview, where Sujeewa had brought evidence after evidence to prove how brutal ragging at Ruhuna has been – in fact the first ever bare all – no punches pulled interview by a VC – why didn’t he challenge Sujeewa then and there? Nine months back?
We the public judge administrators purely on results. Sujeewa stopped ragging completely within a year after being given reins to Ruhuna. There’re no more torture chambers or buckets of used condoms at Ruhuna. I interviewed many security guards and half of cleaning staff.
I wasn’t on a media circus and no one stage managed my casual chats with those minor staff at Ruhuna. I am convinced beyond any doubt that Ruhuna didn’t have a single complaint of ragging this year and I challenge Sudantha (and his ilk) to prove otherwise.
Now as against Sujeewa’s track record what has Sudantha got to show? Pasindu Hirushan! Who barely managed to save his life thanks to the superb medical care at ICU. Now doesn’t the responsibility for every student’s life – within the campus – rest squarely on the shoulders of the Vice Chancellor – if he or she is worthy of their salt? And what does Sudantha say about that incident? That about 150 students should be sacked. And who should be doing the sacking, for God’s sake? Gotabaya Rajapaksa?