President Maithripala Sirisena said he had instructed the Inspector General of Police to pay special attention to prevent ragging at universities carried out by a small group of students in order to disrupt the education of the majority of students.
He also instructed the IGP to implement a joint initiative with university authorities in this regard.
The President added that the Government was responsible for the future of university students and emphasised that the Government would fulfill this duty without hesitation.
He made these remarks while participating in the 75th anniversary celebration of Ananda Shastralaya in Matugama yesterday.
President Sirisena stated that the recent ragging incident at the Agricultural Faculty of the University of Peradeniya was a tragedy of free education and further stated that he made inquiries over the issue from the Senior Superintendent of Police of Kandy and expressed the deepest regret of the Government over this incident.
The President said that tarnishing the good image of universities which produce scholars and intellectuals through these kinds of incidents was a disservice to the country’s free education system. He said that a number of ragging incidents had served as black marks on the history of the university system during the past 40-50 years.
Speaking about Ananda Shastralaya, President Sirisena expressed appreciation over the school’s forward journey since its establishment. The President unveiled a statue of the founder of the school, former Finance and Justice Deputy Minister Daya T. Pasqual, within the school’s premises. A newly built technology lab was also inaugurated by the President.
Furthermore, a special memento was presented to the President, while he was given a portrait of himself drawn by a student from the school.
Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe and Rajitha Senaratne, Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma and former minister Kumara Welgama as well as the school’s Principal Randun Jayalath, staff, parents and past pupils were among those present at the event.