Parliamentarian and United National Party’s National Youth Front chairman Ruwan Wijewardena has appealed to the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera, to request President Rajapaksa to postpone the government’s leadership training programme for university students in military camps pending the Supreme Court determination.
In a letter to the prelate Mr. Wijewardena says the training programme has created resistance and concern among parents and students. “Students have received letters signed by the secretary to the Higher Education Ministry a few days prior to the date of commencement. Parents and students of low income families and those going through financial difficulties are worried as they are unable to purchase the items worth Rs. 15,000 mentioned in the list within a short period of time,” he said.
Mr. Wijewardena had also raised in the letter the issue where authorities have asked students suffering from severe illnesses to report at the camps and undergo a medical check-up by military medical officers.
“Students are allocated training camps far away from where they live and as the training is not at an academic training centre or a university, parents are concerned about the security of their children. As training is given in military camps, this has also generated apprehension among parents and students, especially of those from the minority communities,” he said.
Mr. Wijewardena said the letter was the result of a number of requests made by students via letters and phone calls requesting the National Youth Front to intervene in the matter.