A hundred and seventy six university students have been suspended and more than 25 have been remanded in the past 60 days while student unions and cultural activities are halted due to unreasonable restrictions and in some universities the administrators have created a network to spy on students and lecturers, the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) said.

The Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon in a statement has said while the government was planning to usher in private universities it had prevented the commencement of external degree programmes depriving the state run universities of much needed resources.

The CHR said not only students but also a large number of lecturers who hold independent opinions are being continuously harassed and adds that the university students have no other option but to take to the streets to counter the growing suppression levelled at them.

Tennakoon added that the students of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura were facing restrictions hitherto not seen in a university. The most recent incident occurred last week when seven students including five bhikkus and two female students were suspended for distributing leaflets outside the university.

Source: Daily Mirror – 19.10.2010