If you wish to post any interesting articles please e-mail them to secretaryfuta@gmail.com.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sri Lanka students and military training

University students protest
University students protest
Students’ unions in Sri Lanka have raised objections to a new government scheme under which all university entrants will have to undergo three weeks of training in military camps.
They have petitioned the country’s Supreme Court to try and stop the programme which begins next week.
The government has defended the initiative which it says is about leadership skills. .
This Sunday morning, every student who has recently won a university place will have to report to a specified military or police camp.
There are 28 dotted around the country.
Each prospective student, male or female, will be schooled for three weeks in disciplines including physical drill, conflict management, and “Sri Lanka’s future and global changes”.
Leadership skills
The government says carefully chosen experts will increase the students’ leadership skills and mental and physical fitness.
But student organisations are not happy.
Their unions have said they don’t think training in military camps is a positive thing, and have appealed against the scheme in the Supreme Court, which is to give a ruling on Friday.

Despotic measures
An online petition is circulating, calling the measure “despotic”; and a union leader said it pointed to the military’s spreading influence which has seen ever more officers heading government institutions.
An ethnic Tamil student, who received a summons letter in the majority Sinhala language with no translation, expressed apprehension; his father said he believed it was a plan to discourage Tamil and Muslim students from taking up higher education.
But ethnic Sinhalese and Muslim students told the BBC they had no problems with going to the camp.
The Sri Lankan military often speaks of its own discipline but earlier this year it admitted there had been 50,000 deserters. 

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2011/05/110519_students.shtml