FR filed by five university students fixed for support

The Fundamental Rights petition filed by five students including four Sinhala Buddhists and a Tamil Hindu student attached to the Faculty of Business Studies in Vavunia Campus of Jaffna University complaining that the University administration was continuously harassing, victimizing and penalizing them for their involvement in bringing the Budu Kutiya (wooden structure for the placement of a Buddha statue) to Vavunia Campus, by keeping them indefinitely out of bounds of Vavunia Campus was yesterday fixed for support by Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court fixed the matter for support on February 13 next year.

The petitioners alleged that the University administration prevented them from pursuing their university education and sitting for the examination, subjecting them to excessive punishment informally not warranted by disciplinary procedure, by not granting any hearing to their appeals and by not releasing the Board of Inquiry Report and by not informing them of the decision of the Board of Inquiry.

The petitioners cited Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Prof. Ratnam Vigneswaran, Dr.T.Mangaleswaran, P.Priyadarshan and six others including the Minister of Higher Education as respondents.

The petitioners stated that as Vesak Poya fell on April 29, 2018 the students had planned to bring the Buddha statue and later placed it in the Budu Kutiya and celebrated Vesak. They allege that the third respondent, a sub warden came there and asked the students to remove it out of the campus premises.

The petitioners stated that freedom of thought, conscience and religion is the most important fundamental right of every person.

They further alleged that the respondents have infringed on the Fundamental Rights of the petitioners to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 14(1)(a) of the Constitution when they were penalysed for expressing their views asserting their Fundamental Rights to conduct their religious observances within the campus premises.

This petition was filed through Senior Counsel Kalyananda Thiranagama and counsel Nilmal Wickremasinghe.

 



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