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Protesters fight to save university

Plan to make new military academy denies qualified students a place, priest says

Catholic priest Father Dilan Perera and Buddhist monk stand with demonstrators in front of ministry of education in colombo on May Catholic priest Father Dilan Perera and Buddhist monk stand with demonstrators in front of ministry of education in colombo on May
  • ucanews.com, Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • May 11, 2011
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Priests joined a protest in Colombo against turning Uva Wellassa University into a military academy.

The Ministry of Higher Education ministry announced it would take over Uva Wellassa, one of the 15 national universities in Sri Lanka, sparking anger among parents, teachers, students and religious leaders.

About 200 people from across the country rallied in a silent protest in front of the ministry today.

The crowd chanted: “Minister! We came to take back our university” and waved placards saying “Stop take over” and “Don’t disturb education.”

“This is wrong decision of the government as actually we need more universities," said Father Dilan Perera, the editor of religious magazine Bhakthi Prabodanaya. "Not all students who qualified for university entrance find a place the national university system.

“This is the sad story for last decades but the government can allocate a new place for military purposes,” Father Perera said.

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