University students vow to sue lecturers
Aug 4, 2012
A university students’ union yesterday claimed that it would not hesitate to take legal action against university lecturers engaging in trade union action.

The ‘Sisu Herawuma’ student union claimed the university lecturers were violating the students’ rights by engaging in trade union action for over a month and vowed to seek court intervention if the strike continued to hinder their academic activities.

‘Sisu Herawuma’ Convener Yukthi Ekadeera told journalists that the trade union action launched by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) was in other words a sacrifice of the student’s future to win lecturers’ demands.

He also said FUTA and the government were engaged in discussions in a manner which would not solve the prevailing issue in the university system.

“Both parties engage in discussions but all of them end in deadlocks. This is because both parties sit for discussions with preconceived ideas and decisions. Hence both parties are not willing to be flexible and the students are inconvenienced by this tug of war,” Ekadeera said.

He also charged that the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) was turning a blind eye to the injustice suffered by university students from the lecturers’ strike. He alleged that IUSF was supporting the strike for selfish motives and not for the students’ benefit.

Speaking further he charged that due to irresponsible statements of Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake the lecturers were expecting the salary hike.

“Minister Dissanayake should not have made such promises. He should not have promised a salary hike. Because of his actions the students have been deprived of their studies for over a month now” he claimed. He urged the government and university lecturers to reach a favourable decision to conclude the academic year as planned.

FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said “We know that the strike has inconvenienced students but it is a trade union action. We have not violated any law and the government is to be blamed for this situation because we have written to them several times. We even informed them before hand about our strike and yet there was no response. Anyone has the right for litigation but we are not engaging in unlawful activity”

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka