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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sripali University lecturers extracting sex bribes -SB

The Island

By Saman Indrajith

Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday that the lecturers at the Sripali Campus in Horana are extracting sexual bribes from female undergraduates.

"We have received information and complaints that talented students had been overlooked and those who comply with the desires of these teachers are offered class passes and other benefits. The situation in the Sripali Campus of the Colombo University is anarchical and we will not let this abhorrent practice continue," the Minister said making his reply speech during an Adjournment Motion Debate moved by the DNA MP Sunil Handunetti.

The Minister said that there were serious charges against the academic and non-academic staff members. "These people engage in various nefarious activities thanks to disorder prevailing in the Campus. Incidents of highly inhuman ragging too are reported from this institute. One of the solutions was to remove the administration of the Campus and amalgamate it with the University of Visual and Performing Arts. But those who were involved in those notorious activities and conscripting undergraduates for political activities through the means of ragging are opposed to this affiliation of the Campus to the university," he said.

Minister Dissnayake said that the foundation stone for the Horana Sripali was laid by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and it was set up to promote aesthetic studies, namely arts, music and dance. The property belonged to the late poet Wilmot Perera. His last will said that this institute should only be used to teach aesthetic subjects. There is also a Court order which says the property should be dedicated to the same purpose. It had earlier been designed to cater to this purpose but due to student unrest and graduates forcibly coming to Colombo and occupying Colombo University premises complaining that there were no facilities at the Horana Campus, the then authorities succumbed to the pressure and placed the Campus under the purview of University of Colombo. "Therefore the opposition should not harbour unnecessary fears that we are changing this to something anew. By amalgamating this Campus with the University of Visual and Performing Arts we are correcting a mistake and the institute would be allowed to go ahead on the path it was originally intended," he said.

MP Handunetti moving the motion demanded the government to put the proposed amalgamation of the Campus to University of Visual and Performing Arts on hold and discuss the matter with all the stakeholders. The issue must be debated in public forums and then only should the government decide whether they could continue with the project of shifting the administration of the faculty from one university to another, he said.