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DateLine Sunday, 1 July 2007





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette


Stop murder by ragging !

Sri Lanka may be the only country where ragging is used to murder people, particularly University students and school children. In addition to murder there have been a large number of cases of causing deformities, torture, trauma and untold pain of mind.

This wickedness, inhuman behaviour and villainy, resorted to by some psychologically deranged University students, has now spread to schools, armed forces, training colleges, technical institutions, religious institutions and generally everywhere in Sri Lanka. Not only young men and women but even some clergy, unfortunately, resort to this 'crime'. Ragging started years ago, as a jolly good way of freshers and seniors coming to know each other where both parties enjoyed the fun.

This came to Sri Lanka from England. In the Sinhala and Tamil traditional educational system there was nothing other than mutual concern, respect and kindness between the novice, the veterans and the teachers. Today the name ragging is used for a bastardly system of abuse and torture.

Not all seniors at the University do go out for ragging and some are positively against this mean practice. The compulsive "raggers" are definitely mentally deranged, dangerous "criminals in students' clothing" and they rag for following reasons.

1. Subconsious desire to murder: Many consider the newcomers as potential competitiors in the job market and they have a latent desire to kill them and this desire results in causing potentially fatal harm.

2. Sexual satisfaction: Some derive sadistic sexual pleasure out of making freshers undress and perform unnatural sex acts and seeing them cry, writhe and shiver with fear and pain. There has been instances of suicide of innocent students after getting sexually abused.

3. Inferiority complex: There are mad students who have a low opinion of themselves due to physical unattractiveness, lack of wealth and or lack of knowledge of etiquette and other things necessary to be members of the society that they want to get into. These people are in a state of fury against the human race and are dangerously anti-social. They will kill, maim or torture anybody to derive some satisfaction of being able to exercise power.

4. To force freshers to join their cliques through fear: These gangs torture newcomers to subdue them and force them to join their cliques as "slaves." This is the method used by terrorists, underworld gangsters and madmen like Idi Amin.

5. To take revenge for the torture they had suffered from their seniors.

6. To extort money and to force victims to provide other favours.

As a result of this inhuman torture system some have died, some have got crippled and many have got sexually impotent. The vast majority of the victims have got permanent psychological scars and some of them, in turn, become criminal "raggers" who get some consolation by inflicting pain on their innocent juniors. In fact, this is a national disaster, an epidemic, a criminal waste of resources, life and a major cause of deterioration of the values and peace in this lovely land.

The philosophy behind criminal ragging is "Might is Right" i.e., the stronger have a right to abuse the weaker. This is the basis of imperialism and slavery. When this kind of thinking is inculcated in people, they tend to use it wherever they go, for example, as teachers, government servants or professionals.

Signs of this can be seen at many places where some graduates work, though the majority do not suffer from the shock that long. Now is the time to free the country from this menace.

The people who must lead this good work are none other than the present seniors in the Universities. All those who are against this dastardly crime that goes under the misnomer "ragging" - religious bodies, humanitarian organisations, political parties and decent individuals should get together and stand up NOW, before more torture and murder will take place with the new batches of innocent students getting into the Universities this year.

We must eradicate this loathsome, brutish practice that goes against our culture and values, and ruins the country silently, once and for all. This Poson period is perhaps the most suitable time for it.

Sena B. Buddhadasa, Colombo 4.

"Shanthi Nivasa", a hidden paradise

There is a certain place close to Maharagama Cancer Hospital. One day I just walked in there with a friend of mine. It is a small two storied building with an open roof top. Ground floor has a few rooms and a large hall.

At the far end there is a clean and tidy kitchen with four cooking units. In the middle there is a large dining table. Some were busy cooking. Some were serving the food. At the table there was a person having a packet of lunch which he had bought from outside. Upstairs there are a few rooms not very large but clean and comfortable. All the rooms were occupied.

The hall is large and there was a neat bundle of mats. Many people can sleep there. At the top floor people can relax in the evenings. Loads of clothes were drying there. Toilets are very clean.

There are cupboards where you can keep your things safely and also there is a T.V. set. This place, "Shanthi Nivasa" a paradise is open to the people who accompany patients to the hospital. Everything is free of charge. There is an elderly matron, a very kind lady to welcome you.

You can cook your own meals and relax here comfortably as long as you need. Race, caste, religion, age, gender are immaterial in this place.

There are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, of all ages staying there peacefully. They are from Kalmunai, Vavunia, Kurunegala, Kalpitiya, Trincomalee, Moneragala and from far away places. They have nobody around Colombo. They say this is a paradise for them. All were full of praise for the lady who owns this place.

It is a pleasure to know that there are people who work hard silently to make this world a better place for the needy. She is a lady who is moving with the high and mighty but never lost the common touch.

People should appreciate her loving and caring qualities, her helpful manner, her concern for the needy and for the less fortunate people. Dear Mrs. Lilani Shaffter, I hope and pray that you will get more strength to carry on the good work.

Sriya Coonghe



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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