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Sri Lankan government shuts down universities

Last Updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 14:57

London: The Sri Lankan Government has shut down all universities in the country for an indefinite period amidst a row about the future of education in the nation.

The authorities have said the teachers are putting students in a position of "darkness, without any hope".

For decades, university campuses have been a source of turmoil in Sri Lanka, where academics have been on strike for nearly two months, accusing the government of interference and demanding more be spent on the sector.

The government has now responded by closing down 13 of Sri Lanka`s 15 state-funded universities, apart from their medical faculties, with no indication of when they might reopen.

“Their [the trade union`s] aim is to create instability and a political crisis leading to a regime change, we guess,” the BBC quoted Higher Education Minister SB Dissanayake, as saying.

Though the government claimed that it has already agreed to five of the academics` six main demands, the spokesman for the academics` main union, Mahim Mendis said that it ‘simply wasn’t true’.

“To suggest we want regime change is frivolous. You need to understand, Futa [the union] includes academics from all political parties. This is a national struggle,” he added.

Secondary education has also been in turmoil in Sir Lanka, with a large-scale scandal involving incompetence in the marking of school-leaving exam papers, the report said.


First Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 14:57

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