The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) state that in reiterating its commitment to fighting ragging and eliminating it from universities, it seeks the support of civil society, the media and the government, without which ‘this will be impossible to achieve.’

The CCVD’s statement follows a discussion the committee had at its 431st meeting  on July 4 this year at the Uva Wellassa University.

The statement dated July 14, says that Vice Chancellors and Rectors are faced with many issues in their attempts to eliminate ragging at universities.  The committee lists lack of legitimate complaints with proof or clues to identify perpetrators, inaction of law enforcement authorities to implement the 1988 Act on the prevention of ragging, absence of a robust system to protect victims and witnesses and a slow judicial and discipline process as obstacles in achieving a violence free environment at universities. University administrations are often frustrated, the statement points out, ‘in disseminating one- sided information obtained from vociferous student movements’ to act against perpetrators.  There have been instances, the Committee says, when undue pressure has been exerted on legal and disciplinary procedures by external forces, thereby thwarting the process and protecting perpetrators.

While perpetrators air ‘their so-called grievances’ to  authorities and abuse the legal system as well as the Human Rights Commission, university authorities do not receive the same protection, the Committee alleges, adding that this sometimes ‘escalates to severe harassment of VC’s/Rectors university authorities.”

For seventy years, universities have dealt with ragging, which has resulted in negative consequences the Committee states, adding that  the almost elimination or reduction of  ragging in some universities has been the result of ‘active intervention by university authorities led by the VC’s/Rectors, who risked their lives and positions.’  Members of the Committee will not support or remain passive observers of this form of violence, the statement adds.

In recent times ragging has become a complex issue, notes the Committee, which says that ragging is being carried out in ‘novel, sophisticated manner, using technology, with the collective power of the student groups backed by certain political elements.  It uses a network of individuals and starts even before the students enter the universities and continue for a long period thereafter.’  The Committee notes that in addition to the physical, mental and sexual forms, cyber ragging too has now been introduced.

Read the full statement here:Let_CVCD_2020_V3 (2) (1)


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