The organization of Lawyers for Human Rights and Development has called for stern legal action against university students who engage in what it calls terrorist activities within local universities, disrupting tertiary education. In a letter written to Higher Education Minister Wiswa Warnapala, the organization has suggested that all university students formally agree to a condition of not engaging in such acts and that any student who breaches this agreement be expelled from his or her university.
“University students are entitled to subscribe to any political belief and they have the right to engage in any political activity. However they have no right to violate the rights of other students or put their lives in danger and jeopardize their education in order to achieve their own political goals,” the organization said.
Referring to recent media reports of clashes among student factions in some universities, the Lawyers for Human and Rights and Development said it is no secret that thugs who called themselves university students and certain groups of students, who have become thugs with the backing of politicians, are trying to sabotage university education.
“They destroy public property worth millions of rupees, attack staff members and sometimes hold lecturers and even vice-chancellors as hostages. All of these actions are punishable by law.
The same law that applies to the country’s citizens should also apply to students and politicians. Unfortunately, students and politicians appear to believe that they are above the law,” it added.“It is the responsibility and duty of the Government to safeguard the lives of all students who enter university in the hope of obtaining higher education and ensure that they are in a position to continue studies without any hindrance,” it said.