Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

700 Jaffna University Students Without Support

by A., November 17, 2008

They told me that nowadays, a loaf of bread is shared by 4 male students without curry and banana...

Today, I write you for a special reason. So, hope you might take your time
to listen me.

I know that all of you are concerned about the fate of our Tamils who suffer day by day due to the rigorous battle in our home towns. Our people, relatives, friends and our Tamil community face untold hardship owing to the atrocities by the both parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka. I know how much Tamils in Sri Lanka, especially in Jaffna, suffer.

Hope you update yourselves on Jaffna's current situation by accessing to
webs..Tamilnet and etc..

Indeed, today I want to bring to your kind attention about the hardship of the Students of Jaffna University as I met the members of the Student Union recently.

You know much about the problems in the Jaffna University as Students were used for politics in the past. Now Students fear to run their Unions and are unable to take forward their activities like other University Students who do so in the rest of the country.

All the students of Jaffna University are being seen by the authority as LTTE, and due to this the rights of the students are denied and there is no one in Jaffna to help them.

In addition, during my recent meeting, I came to know about the fate of the around 700 University Students from Vanni who have been left at Hostels without any direct support from their families for the last few months due to the displacements in Vanni. As they have no family contacts, Vanni Students are unable to receive the financial support from their families. They only get the Mahopola/Bursary that is around 2000 for the 10 months in a year. That incentive is also not paid by the University on the regular basis.

These 700 male and female Vanni Students are accommodated in two hostels located close by the University and they are afraid to go out to earn money by giving tuition classes to survive as they face protection problems from the authority. So, totally, they are like prisoners and struggling to survive and continue their studies.

As I am in Jaffna, I know how much money we need to cover daily expenses for meals, etc. Due to the closure of the A9, prices for all commodities have gone up and at least 6000 rupees is needed to cover the 3 times meals for a individual. Other expenses like soap, cloths, toothpaste.... at least 1000 rupees is needed in addition.

But, these 700 students have only 2000 rupees from the University and nothing from their families. They need monthly 5000 rupees. Indeed, they are in adifficult situation. At the moment, they are being supported by their colleagues, many have sold their jewels, many have gotten loans from known persons in Jaffna, so they manage to survive somehow.

No big support from the University administration as the current Vice
Chancellor is not an active one; he seems like a Politician in the South.

They told me that nowadays, a loaf of bread is shared by 4 male students without curry and banana...

Last week, two local NGO came forward to help these students to provide lunch. Due to the budget constraints of the NGOs they only provide lunch for 150 students who have been chosen by the University Students Union as a Vulnerable who are poorest in the poor... I don't know how long this lunch assistance would be extended to these students.

That's why I write to you to help these students. Hope you well understood their condition and I have already seen your kind concern. So, I hope it is a good opportunity for you to show your helping hands to support these students. Sending 100$, 50$, 5$ to these students will definitely help them and the money you spend in this way will bless your family as well at the end.

If I convinced you to help these students, the Students Union can let you know their Bank A/c to send your contribution as soon as possible. You can also ask for the students' telephone numbers, so you can directly deal with them and could satisfy that your contribution is reaching the needy.

Friends, hope you will react positively and awaiting your earliest response...