FUTA condemns attack on former president
May 3, 2015 12:04 pm
Condemning the Friday’s attack on Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Dr Kumudu Kusum Kumara, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations today said that the incident is a grim reminder of the political culture that people thought they had defeated on January 08.
On the 1st of May, a group of persons brutally attacked former FUTA President and current media spokesperson, Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Dr Kumudu Kusum Kumara, also a prominent public intellectual.
Dr Dewasiri and Dr Kusum Kumara had been near the May Day Rally organised by MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Dinesh Gunwardene at Kirulapone.
“Those attacking Dr Dewasiri and Dr Kusum Kumara had been shouting that they were responsible for defeating former President Mahinda Rajapakse.”
“Dr Dewasiri and Dr Kusum Kumara were fortunate to get away alive, thanks to the swift action of the police who had been providing security arrangements for the rally. The mob had even tried to attack the police vehicle which took away the two academics from the site,” FUTA said in a statement.
“This cowardly attack is a grim reminder of the kind of political culture that people thought they had defeated on the 8th of January 2015: lack of respect for political dissent; use of violence and complete intolerance of political opposition.”
“It is extremely unfortunate, that these elements are allowed to behave as if nothing has changed. It is even more unfortunate, that they are provided a space in which to vent their hatred and intolerance and in fact are even encouraged to continue to behave in this manner, by elected representatives.”
“As much or even more as we condemn the mob which engaged in this attack, we need to condemn the politics which engenders this kind of behavior,” it said.
FUTA says that it is the “venomous political ideology” spewed out by those who are no longer in power, after they have been defeated through democratic means, that is promoting the attitudes and actions that led to this attack.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack on our two members and colleagues. We demand an investigation into this event and that those responsible be brought before the law.”
FUTA stressed that that as university academics who have fought to uphold the rule of law, democratic principles and the right of dissent, its members cannot be intimidated by such “cowardly attacks.”
“We will continue to work for these principles and support all endeavours to ensure that this country strives towards the political reforms which the people voted for on the 8th of January 2015.”