Tamil Nadu orders closure of colleges

Started by ganeshbala, Feb 01, 2009, 02:01 PM

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Tamil Nadu orders closure of colleges

Colleges across Tamil Nadu will remain closed from Monday, the state government announced Saturday in view of students' protests over the situation in Sri Lanka.

Colleges will remain closed from Monday "due to the prevailing law and order situation", Chief Secretary K. Sripathy said in an official release.

Several organisations including those of students have been holding protests and demonstrations in the state over the suffering of Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka amid the armed forces' campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.


Students helpless, can't reach home

The sudden closure of all colleges and hostels in the state by the government has brought severe hardships to students. Many of them, mostly girls, are finding it difficult to reach home as seats and berths in buses and trains are all fully booked in advance.

Apart from the students of Dr Ambedkar Government Law College, who were forced to board trains and buses within a week of resumption of classes after a long holiday, many others who were getting ready for their semester examinations had to give up their preparations mid-way and leave for their homes.

Examinations for MBA, M Tech, and M E conducted by Anna University have been postponed and dates will be announced later. Similarly, it is also exam time for the students of medical colleges in the city. The Doctors Association for Social Equality has condemned the act of the government, which has now sent the students packing from the hostels.

However, this is the second time that exam schedules have been disrupted this academic year. Earlier, the rains and the flood situation had pushed the schedules behind.

The outstation students are the worst affected and the plight of the girl students is unspeakable. "When we saw the news on TV, we were not sure how to react. Within a few minutes my daughter called and told us that she had to vacate the hostel before 11 am on Sunday. Since we were not sure about the violence there, we rushed to the city in a hired vehicle and took our daughter back home,'' said Usha, a relative of an Ethiraj College student, who hails from Coimbatore.

Several others have grouped together to stay for a few days at some friends' place or the other and wait. There is also a feeling among many that the closure may stem the protests that are erupting in many places across the State after Muthukumar, a 26-year-old youth, set himself on fire demanding an immediate resolution on the Sri Lankan imbroglio.

Reaction of students, too, differs from college to college. Law college students, who were part of the protests, have reluctantly gone home as they were asked to vacate the hostels. Some of them  feel that students' involvement in the protests will decline if colleges remain shut.

Thirumurthy, a final year student from Chennai law college, said, "More than 70 per cent of students have already left for their home towns. I think colleges won't be closed for more than a week. The DMK general council will meet soon and hopefully come up with a solution to the Sri Lankan issue which will satisfy students. Moreover, those who are participating in protests primarily belong to the student wings of VCK, PMK and MDMK."

At Loyola College too, where there was no boycott of classes but only a college-sponsored protest in favour of protecting Lankan Tamils, students were asked to vacate the hostels by Monday morning.

Classes in central institutions like IITs have not been cancelled, "We usually receive an e-mail if classes are cancelled. No such thing has happened. We will know only tomorrow when classes start," said a final year IIT student.

Govt employees'union to join strike

Members of the Tamil Nadu Government Employees Union (TNGEU) will participate in the general strike scheduled to be held on February 4, called by the Sri Lankan Tamil Protection Force. A press release stated that several political parties, students, and public had been asking the Centre to intervene and stop the war to prevent further atrocities on Tamil civilians.

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