Government may ban IUSF

The government is considering banning the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF), reports said on Sunday.

The Inter University Students Federation is a student union body which campaigns for the rights of University Students.

However the Higher Education Ministry says the IUSF has also been accused of instigating student violence, ragging and other un-democratic acts.

Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne told The Sunday Leader that under the anti-ragging laws a student involved in ragging can be jailed or fined or both.

He also said that student intimidation in the form of ragging at times forces students to skip classes out of fear which is a violation of their human righs. He said that human rights groups fail to identify this and as a result students continue to be oppressed at universities.

The Education Ministry says there is no bar to taking legal action against any student or student organization believed to be involved in ragging.

Dr. Navaratne said that the IUSF is seen as an undemocratic student union which intimidates other university students. He said that information is being collected on the IUSF and there is a possibility that the union will be banned over charges of being undemocratic, violating human rights and damaging university property.

IUSF convener Sanjeeva Bandara, insisted that the IUSF is not an undemocratic student group and is not involved in ragging.

He also said that ragging is something common in universities which is however now being politicized using isolated incidents.

Bandara said that some students involved in ragging claim to be members of the IUSF when they are not and moves to ban the student group is a conspiracy to suppress students rights.

According to the University Independent Conversion Movement ragging has left 15 dead and 25 paralyzed.

Convener of the movement Yukthi Ekadeera said that a further 6000 students had left university, 2 committed suicide and 2 were raped as a result of ragging.